Cowboys Urged to Trade for Star WR From Super Bowl Contender

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could be the perfect landing spot for Bengals WR Tee Higgins.

The Dallas Cowboys could be looking at their next star wide receiver through trade.

As proposed by Adam Schultz of Sports Illustrated, the Cowboys could find receiver help by looking at Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals. While Higgins hasn’t been made publicly available by the Bengals, the 24-year-old will be seeking a new deal as he enters the last year of his rookie contract in 2023.

In other words, the Bengals will have to pay big money to keep Higgins in Cincinnati. The problem is, the Bengals will also have to pay bigger stars in Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.

Schultz urges the Cowboys to “check in” on Higgins and take advantage of the fact that the Bengals will likely have a hard time paying all three stars and keeping them together.

“The Cowboys have the need, but money is tight,” said Schultz. “The Super Bowl Bengals are surely motivated to keep the gang together, but … yeah, money is tight. With Burrow and Chase set to break the market, Dallas ought to check in this offseason and see if the Bengals want to break from Tee Higgins.”

Why Bengals Will Consider Trading Tee Higgins

According to Spotrac, Higgins’ projected market value is $20.1 million per year for a total of $80.6 million across four seasons. That would make Higgins the 11th-highest paid receiver in the league.

The contract makes sense even though Higgins plays a No. 2 role to Chase. Higgins has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and has racked up at least six touchdowns every season since entering the league in 2020. In other words, he’s arguably the top No. 2 receiver in the league.

As Schultz mentions, Burrow will likely garner a new deal that pays him north of $50 million per year while Chase could very well earn $30 million per year. That’s $80 million-plus alone committed to two guys. Do we really think the Bengals are going to commit another $20 million to Higgins, making that $100 million-plus committed to three players alone?

Why Cowboys Should Look Into Trading for Tee Higgins

It’s no secret the Cowboys are desperate for a No. 2 receiver. Their lack of receiver depth behind CeeDee Lamb was on full display in their 19-12 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, with Dallas’ wide receivers combining for four receptions and 44 yards. The most revealing statistic was Michael Gallup — the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver — failing to post a single reception in the game.

Gallup struggled during the 2022 season after returning from a torn ACL. He contributed just 39 receptions for 424 yards and four touchdowns after signing a five-year, $62.5 million extension in the offseason.

A big reason why Dallas’ receiving production declined last season was the trade of Amari Cooper. The Cowboys traded Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round draft pick last offseason, largely due to his $20 million salary.

Team owner Jerry Jones explained the decision to trade Cooper — a multi-time Pro Bowler — while speaking to reporters on Wednesday, February 1.

Via Clarence Hill Jr. of Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“You could say that we probably had too much reliance on what (Jalen) Tolbert could do because we were high on him coming out,” Jones said. “We thought he could immediately be a factor. We thought possibly we could have better results relative to (Michael) Gallup as far as his rehab and where he is. I can say that.

The Cowboys also revealed that they’re still talking to Odell Beckham Jr. to join the team. Dallas previously flirted with the idea of adding the three-time Pro Bowl receiver before backing out at the end of the 2022 season.

It’s clear Dallas is looking for an upgrade at wide receiver. Higgins may not be cheap, but he’s vastly younger than Cooper and could be the missing piece that lifts the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1995.

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