Whether the Dallas Cowboys believe it or not, James Washington’s injury puts them in a real bind. They simply can’t afford to put all their eggs in one basket hoping CeeDee Lamb can put the passing game on his back and carry the team in 2022. That’s just too much to ask of any player, let alone one that has never really been “the guy” so far in his young career.
The Cowboys would be wise to help solidify the position in order to not only get the best out of CeeDee Lamb, but the entire offense as well. To do that, they really only have two options, sign a free agent WR or trade for one. There are intriguing options no matter which direction they decide to go.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 2, 2022
The Cowboys still have options via free agency if they want to try to upgrade the receiver position, but in all honesty, there’s a reason why all of these players are still available. There are concerns with pretty much every single WR listed above, whether it be injury history, decline in play, or age. Whatever the case, a trade may net better results, and production.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the young, talented wide receivers currently buried on the depth chart with their respective teams whom the Dallas Cowboys could potentially acquire via trade.
Trade candidates from within the NFC East division
After trading for AJ Brown and drafting DeVonta Smith in the last couple of years, the Eagles have pretty much revamped and upgraded their receiving corps, and because of that, WRs like Jalen Reagor and John Hightower are buried on the depth chart. While neither has made much of an impact as of yet in their professional careers, both could arguably help the Cowboys if acquired via trade.
New York Giants
There have been rumors circulating that a couple of Giants receivers, Darius Slayton and Kadarius Toney, are being shopped to teams looking for more WR help. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, both players could potentially help their own WR position. Slayton is a deep threat much like James Washington was before his injury, while Toney is more of a gadget player. Of the two, Darius Slayton probably makes the most sense.
After wisely locking up Terry McLaurin long-term and drafting Jahan Dotson this offseason, Washington has what is shaping up to be a promising passing attack. While the WR battle behind them is wide open, players like Dyami Brown, Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims, and Kelvin Harmon could end up on the short end of the stick. Brown would be the ideal trade target for the Cowboys, but any of the others could be of interest as well.
Trade candidates from outside the division
Denzel Mims, New York Jets
Mims is the Jets former 2020 second-round pick (59th overall). He played collegiately at Baylor and was someone the Cowboys showed an interest in pre-draft. He has intriguing size (6’3″, 207) and speed (4.38), but has really struggled to make an impact in his first two years in the NFL. A change of scenery, and return home to Texas, could be mutually beneficial for both him and the Cowboys. At best he is WR4 on the depth chart behind Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Garrett Wilson right now.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
Smith is arguably the most seasoned receiver on this list, but also currently finds himself buried on the depth chart as the Saints WR4 or WR5. He is a former third-round pick by New Orleans in 2018 and is currently playing under a one-year contract. The 6’2″, 210-pound WR has only averaged a little over 30 receptions for around 400 receiving yards the past couple years, but if given more opportunity there is reason to believe he could be more productive.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars
Shenault is a name we’ve heard floated around as someone who could be available via trade. He was Jacksonville’s second-round pick a few years ago, but has never really developed into the playmaker they envisioned when they selected him 42nd overall in 2020. Despite that, he is someone the Cowboys showed an interest in pre-draft and someone who could add some much-needed depth to the position. The 6’1”, 227-pound WR could greatly benefit from playing with CeeDee Lamb.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots
Meyers was the Patriots most targeted receiver in 2021, but despite that, currently sits fourth on the depth chart behind DeVonte Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and maybe even rookie WR Tyquan Thorton. The 6’2”, 200-pound WR is best out of the slot, where he consistently creates separation with this exceptional footwork. He is currently playing under a one-year deal in New England and could be someone who could step in immediately to upgrade Dallas’ passing game.
Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnson is unfortunately a victim of playing for a team who is absolutely stacked at wide receiver right now. With Mike Evans, Tyler Boyd, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones currently in front of him on the depth chart, he sadly finds himself on the roster bubble heading into the 2022 season. That of course could benefit a team like the Cowboys who are in need of more WR help. In Johnson, they would be adding an intriguing position type of WR who has shown flashes of being a dependable target in the passing game.