Proposed Cowboys Trade Gives Dallas ‘Second Chance’ at Explosive Jaguars WR

Laviska Shenault

Getty Laviska Shenault Jr. of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms-up before a game.

In terms of adding dynamic new weapons for the offense, the Dallas Cowboys could look to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the chance to improve.

There’s been non-stop speculation over the Cowboys and their offensive setup, with the team being linked to many receivers such as Seattle Seahawks star DK Metcalf. Heavy has also explored our own ideas, such as a move for Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman.

A name that floated around the NFL rumor mill earlier in the offseason has been Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. The chatter around the third-year receiver has died down in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean that he still couldn’t be on the way out.

The Jaguars added two new starters at WR in Zay Jones and Christian Kirk, who arrive as Shenault is coming off a lackluster sophomore campaign. There’s no question the second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft has talent, but things have shaken out in a disadvantageous way for Shenault.

However, it isn’t disadvantageous for the Cowboys. Moving for the young WR should be affordable, and his potential feels like it hasn’t been fully tapped into yet. Dallas may not have made a move when reports on Shenault’s trade availability first dropped, but the Cowboys could make the most of a “second chance” by moving for him late in the Summer.

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Shenault Has Quickness, Versatility

When seeing footage of Shenault on the field, it’s clear of one thing: he makes people miss. He averages 5.65 yards after the catch according to Pro Football Reference, and plays like the one in the Tweet below show how explosive the former Colorado receiver can be.

Shenault’s lateral quickness is up there with anyone in the NFL, although he lacks the “next gear” and doesn’t really possess breakaway speed. He makes up for that with smart movements and quick eyes, which has made him a useful tool in Jacksonville.

But despite his promise, plays like the one above are less common than some expected. Shenault put up 600 and 619 receiving yards in 2020 and 2021 respectively, but he has struggled to make big plays and didn’t score a touchdown in his second season.

The other reason for concern is his drops, which he had eight of in 2021. The thing working in Shenault’s favor when it comes to his poor-looking stats is his situation with the Jaguars. Shenault has had two quarterbacks and three head coaches in his two years in Jacksonville, and it was clear Trevor Lawrence and the receiver had growing pains to work through in 2021.

There needs to be more coming from Shenault in the future, but moments like the ones seen below should attract the Cowboys and any NFL team needing a new receiver.


How Cowboys Can Move for Shenault

Shenault doesn’t possess a ton of veteran experience, but he has a versatility that can further deepen the Cowboys offense. As CeeDee Lamb becomes the out-and-out No. 1 receiver, a player like Shenault can lean into the “gadget” role.

To acquire Shenault, a early Day 3 or late Day 2 pick feels like the perfect cost. The Cowboys ought to have leverage as well, as the Jaguars never moved the receiver when reports first stated that he could be on the trade block. If Jacksonville needs to get rid of the 23-year-old receiver before the 2022 season, it should be an even cheaper deal for Dallas or whoever goes after Shenault.

In terms of Shenault’s pay, Dallas can definitely afford the WR with nearly $20 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. Shenault is just a $2.1 million cap hit for 2022, and a $2.45 million cap hit for 2023.

Trading for Shenault comes with obvious risk, but he also feels like a player that has yet to be used to the best of his abilities. An offense with a veteran QB like Dak Prescott seems like the perfect destination for a player in his position.

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