Splashy Proposed Trade Sends Cowboys a New Star Playmaker

Dak Prescott

Getty The Dallas Cowboys continue to add weapons for Dak Prescott.

The Dallas Cowboys continue to be linked to star running back Bijan Robinson ahead of the 2023 NFL draft. Could the Cowboys value Robinson so much that the front office is willing to trade up to land the playmaker following Ezekiel Elliott’s release?

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine offered a few trade proposals that would allow the Cowboys to make a “splash.” The trade idea has the Cowboys moving up to secure the Packers’ No. 15 pick in exchange for No. 26 as well as a third-round pick (No. 90 overall). Dallas also gets a fifth-rounder (No. 170 overall) from Green Bay as well as part of the proposed deal.

“Jon Machota of The Athletic noted that Dallas would be ecstatic if the 21-year-old fell all the way to No. 26,” Ballentine wrote on March 29. “The question is whether the team would be willing to wait if he’s still on the board after the Eagles pick at No. 10. It feels like the next obvious landing spot is No. 19 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“This trade would allow them to get in front and work with a Green Bay Packers team that should be willing to trade back. They have a tight cap situation that hasn’t allowed them to be very active in free agency, so an additional third-rounder could be useful.”

Could the Cowboys Move on From Tony Pollard in 2024?

Tony Pollard is slated to have a $10 million salary in 2023 as the team placed the franchise tag on the playmaker. Given this high price tag, the Cowboys are more likely to look to draft another running back rather than adding a more expensive veteran. Dallas has already signed Ronald Jones to an affordable deal, but the backfield remains a question mark beyond this season.

The Cowboys released Elliott with no sign of a possible reunion, but Pollard’s future has also been called into question. The Athletic’s Bob Sturm suggested the Cowboys could take the same path with Pollard that the team did with tight end Dalton Schultz.

The playmaker played on the franchise tag in 2022, while Dallas allowed Schultz to walk in free agency this offseason. This could make drafting a running back even more of a high priority for the Cowboys. Sturm has the Cowboys selecting former UCLA rusher Zach Charbonnet in the second round in one of his latest mock draft iterations.

“Picking between Charbonnet and [Texas A&M Devon Achane] is an interesting conversation and there is no doubt that the Aggies’ sprinter is the one with the most juice, but when Tony Pollard exits after this season (possibly), which of these two would I trust to be a ‘bell cow’ and primary back in 2024?” Sturm detailed on March 27. “Probably the big one from UCLA who just seems to be the type of 215-pound player the odds like a bit more. I did think about WR and OL here, too, but I think Charbonnet is the best player on my board and a great pick at 58, even though I really wrestle with Mauch. This choice could go either way — give me the big RB.”

The Cowboys Would Be ‘Absolutely Thrilled’ If Bijan Robinson Fell to No. 26, Says Insider

There is plenty for Dallas and other teams to like about Robinson who posted 258 carries for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2022. Robinson also added 19 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns through the air for the Longhorns.

Vegas has the Cowboys among the favorites to land Robinson, but there is a good chance the running back is off the board when Dallas is on the clock at No. 26. According to The Athletic’s Jon Machota, the Cowboys would be “absolutely thrilled” if Robinson was still available at No. 26.

“The Cowboys would have to be absolutely thrilled if Robinson fell to 26,” Machota said on March 22. “He’s the type of elite talent they’d probably select if they had a top-15 pick. With Ezekiel Elliott released and Tony Pollard franchise-tagged, running back is one of Dallas’ biggest needs. They are expected to pick one by Round 4, but none would make the immediate impact that Robinson would in the running and passing game.”