For a while there it looked like the Dallas Cowboys were going to be the only team to make any moves ahead of the NFL trade deadline, but the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles ended up getting in on the action as well. With nearly the entire NFC East division making a blockbuster trade, excluding the New York Giants, I thought it would be fun to examine who might have done it better?
As of right now, there is no way of knowing whether the Cowboys, Eagles, or Redskins made the better deal for the particular player they acquired via trade, so all we can do is speculate. But speculating can be fun on its own merits, so that is exactly what I want to do today.
Let’s begin by taking a closer look at not only the player each team acquired, but what they had to give up to complete the trade and the future impact they could have with their new organization.
Wide Receiver, Amari Cooper (Dallas Cowboys)
The Dallas Cowboys were the first team in the NFC each division to make a move to acquire Wide Receiver Amari Cooper before the NFL trade deadline. The move caught many of us around Cowboys Nation by surprise, but it wasn’t necessarily because of who they acquired via trade, more of what they gave up to acquire Cooper’s services.
Giving up their 2019 first-round draft pick was a steep price to pay, but the Cowboys had to outbid their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, who were offering a second-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for Amari Cooper. The Cowboys get a 24-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl WR who has about a year and a half remaining on his current contract.
Wide Receiver, Golden Tate (Philadelphia Eagles)
After going after Amari Cooper and failing by being outbid by the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles turned their sights to other wide receivers on the trade block. On the final day before the NFL trade deadline, the Eagles pulled the trigger on Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate.
The Eagles sent the Lions a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft to acquire Golden Tate. Tate is 30 years old and has made just one Pro Bowl (2014) in his career. He is in the last year of his contract, meaning Philadelphia might only have his services for the remainder of the 2018 season before he becomes a free agent.
Safety, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Washington Redskins)
Not to be left out, the Washington Redskins decided to bolster the back end of their defense by acquiring Ha Ha Clinton-Dix via trade from the Green Bay Packers before the trade deadline yesterday. It doesn’t look as flashy as acquiring a receiver like the Eagles and Cowboys did, but Clinton-Dix is a really good acquisition nonetheless.
The Redskins sent the Packers a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft for Clinton-Dix’s services. The 25-year-old, one-time Pro Bowl free safety is in the last year of his rookie contract, and much like Golden Tate is on kind of a rental for the remainder of the 2018 season before becoming a free agent. Clinton-Dix could be the missing piece on an already really good Washington defense.
Verdict: Dallas Cowboys
Although I strongly believe all three of these teams will greatly benefit from the trades they made, I think the Dallas Cowboys ended up making the better deal, even though they surrendered the most.
I know many of you will disagree with me, but I think Amari Cooper was worth investing more in because of his age and the fact the Cowboys have a year and a half to see what they’re getting before having to decide about his long-term future with the organization. That’s just a smart business decision in my opinion.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins have basically eight games with their new players before deciding if they want to extend them long-term. With Golden Tate’s age, he could be looking at one last big payday, meaning the Eagles may have to shell out some big bucks to keep him around after the season. He is definitely worth a third-round draft pick, but his future with the organization is questionable.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a pretty safe investment on the Washington Redskins part as long as he wants to stick around long term. He may not make as much as an impact as either Amari Cooper or Golden Tate, but he might be the safer and most reliable out of all of these trades. If not for his uncertain future in Washington, I might have given the Redskins the nod over the Cowboys.