A rumor popped up on Twitter Sunday morning indicating the Dallas Cowboys are interested in trading for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk. No local or national outlets echoed the report’s veracity, and nothing has since come of it. That doesn’t necessarily mean nothing will.
While a tad oversold, the speculation does seem to have legs. And the Cowboys, a type.
Upon touching base with those in the know, Mike Fisher of Maven Sports was told Dallas is seeking “a player like Kirk” — in other words, a slot receiver to pair with $100 million man Amari Cooper and 2019 breakout star Michael Gallup.
Fisher also tossed out hyperspeedy 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin as another trade target, though it reads as guesswork rather than sourced information.
“That’s right. As it relates to Kirk, or Marquise Goodwin, or any other affordable slot receiver on the block, the answer is a general “yes,'” he wrote.
The Cardinals’ 2018 second-round pick, Kirk suffered through a forgettable rookie campaign that ended prematurely due to a broken foot, catching 43 passes for 590 yards and three touchdowns across 12 appearances (seven starts).
He rebounded as a sophomore, thanks in large part to improved quarterback play. Steadily jibing with No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, Kirk started 13 games and totaled 709 yards and three scores on 68 receptions, finishing second behind future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald.
A multi-faceted weapon, he added 93 rushing yards in 2019 and 164 punt-return yards in 2018.
Arizona is absolutely stacked at the position, however. They used a second-round pick on Andy Isabella last year and last month made a blockbuster swap for former Texans All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is, too, high on KeeSean Johnson and Trent Sherfield, young understudies to graybeard Fitzgerald.
There’s been no indication that Kirk is indeed on the block, but if there’s anyone who’d draw the short straw, it’s probably him. His age (23), upside, and versatility provide decent value the Cards could convert into draft capital.
A mid-round choice is likely all it’d take for Kirk to be moved, before or during next week’s NFL draft.
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Potential Fit with Cowboys
It’s fairly optimal. Dallas has yet to replace 2019 slot WR Randall Cobb, who signed a $27 million deal with the Houston Texans in free agency. They’ve so far opted against bringing back Tavon Austin, who’s hanging around on the market.
Kirk has local ties, having attended Texas A&M, and he’s still a heck of a talent, drawing pre-draft comparisons to ex-Rams Pro Bowler Pharoh Cooper. The 5-foot-11, 201-pound pass-catcher is also cheap, carrying remaining salary-cap numbers of $1.607 million and $1.875 million for 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Whether the Cowboys acquire Kirk is ultimately immaterial. The team conducted virtual interviews with high-round WR prospects Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor, and Tee Higgins and met at the Scouting Combine in February with Penn State’s K.J. Hamler, appearing destined to bolster the corps through the draft.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL