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Bucs Shopping O.J. Howard, Should Cowboys Be Interested?

Before the 2017 NFL Draft, Tight End O.J. Howard was considered the top prospect at his position. A lock to be drafted in the first round, Howard’s athleticism and talent were expected to translate into an NFL starter with All-Pro potential. Before that, he was the nation’s top recruit at his position. As he heads his fourth season in the league, it sounds like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to trade him.

Michael Lombardi mentioned on his podcast GM Shuffle that Howard could be traded in the upcoming NFL Draft. This year’s class doesn’t offer much at the tight end position, so any team looking for a tight end might be intrigued by the prospect of adding a young player through a trade with the Bucs.

With only 25 years of age, it’s impossible to dismiss him as a potential target for the Dallas Cowboys. As a player who’s set to hit free agency after 2020, the price for O.J. Howard could be as low as an early Day 3 pick. Since last year, the Bucs have been rumored to be shopping the former Alabama star tight end. It’s clear both the team and the player are interested in a fresh start.

Howard has failed to live up to the hype, having played zero complete seasons until the moment and catching only 94 passes in his career (an average of 31 per season). Last season, Jason Witten caught 63 passes for the Cowboys after coming out of retirement. He has yet to cross the 600-yard mark in any season and found the endzone once in 2019.

But his athletic ability and raw potential could still be transformed into a solid NFL starter if he lands in the right team. In Tampa Bay, he shared playing time with veteran Cameron Brate and played in an offense featuring Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. While some fairly see this as a negative for Howard (arguing that he should face fewer double-coverages and be open more often) it’s also fair to point out Jameis Winston’s offense might not have benefited him.

He’s still 25 years old and should at least be worth the trouble of picking up the phone and asking for the price. If it’s a fourth-round pick we’re talking about, Howard should be worth it.

Even still, I’d be surprised if the Cowboys are the team to pick up the phone. The front office signed Blake Jarwin to a contract extension earlier in the season and seem to be all-in in their young in-house project that hasn’t seen starter playing time in his career.

On the other hand, even with Lombardi’s report, I’d be surprised to see the tight end out of Tampa Bay in 2020. The Bucs just signed Tom Brady and might want to wait to see if he turns their 2017 first-round selection around.

Tell me what you think about “Bucs Shopping O.J. Howard, Should Cowboys Be Interested?” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.


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  1. A trade for Howard is 2 years overdue. Anyone with eyes could see, that Howard was being wasted in Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston preferred Brate as his TE target, for whatever reason. Cowboys, could’ve had Howard, learn a season under Jason Witten. This is the ultimate case of a franchise, stunting a players growth, but to greedy to let the player go,because of the draft capital they invested in him.

  2. I wanted this guy when he was drafted. Yes I would like the Cowboys to pick up the phone. But if they sign this guy, they wont bring Dez back.

  3. Give Jarwin his chance to start and hopefully shine. Plus, Bell is a good backup. Dalton is back end insurance. Why give up anything, unless they think Howard is exponentially better than Blake, which his pro record says is not the case.

  4. I live in Tampa and have seen, read, heard all about this guy Low motor, low intensity, entitled, lazy, takes plays off, low football iq, questionable work ethic etc, etc are all terms used to describe this draft bust. Maybe a change of scenery would be the kick in the butt he apparently needs, maybe not. It’s pretty sad when the best catch a starting NFL TE has ever made is a bare handed grab of a foul ball in the right field stands at a Padre’s game!

  5. YESSSSSSSSSSSS…I’ve BEEN Been WANTING “O.J. Howard” As The TIGHT END for the Dallas Cowboys!!!!!!!!! Blake Jarwin is a Backup at best. I DONT know WHY Everyone is So High on n about Blake Jarwin. Him, Bell and Dalton TOGETHER AREN’T Half of O.J. Howard!!! HE IS THEE COMPLETE PACKAGE @ #TE. I WSH & HPE the Cowboys PICK UP the PHONE N CALL Bruce Arians & the Buccaneers about Trading for O.J. Howard.

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