Proposed Trade Sends Cowboys a $29 Million Playmaker

Dak Prescott

Getty The Cowboys could use another playmaker for Dak Prescott.

The Dallas Cowboys are off to a fast start, but wide receiver continues to be a long-term concern if the team has Super Bowl aspirations. The Cowboys would be wise to make a move ahead of the November 1 trade deadline, and the Panthers appear to be having a fire sale after parting ways with head coach Matt Rhule. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers are exploring trades for starting wide receiver Robbie Anderson.

“One player the Panthers are open to moving, according to sources, is wide receiver Robbie Anderson, who played for former head coach Matt Rhule at Temple,” Schefter wrote on October 15, 2022. “The Panthers have had conversations with other teams about Anderson, and he remains a strong potential deadline trade candidate.”

Anderson is just two seasons removed from posting 95 receptions for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns during his 16 starts in 2020. The veteran wideout has 13 receptions for 206 yards and a TD through the first five games of the season.

The Cowboys could likely land Anderson for a future day-three draft pick given his inconsistent production. Yet, in Dallas, Anderson would not be asked to be the team’s No. 1 receiver. Anderson would slide next to CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup as a potential solution for Dallas WR3.

The Panthers Are Exploring Potential Trades for Anderson: Report

Anderson has just a $1 million base salary for 2022 as part of his two-year, $29.5 million contract. The receiver’s salary jumps up to $8.8 million in 2023. Fans would be hard pressed to find a worse offensive situation than the one Anderson has been in since arriving in Carolina in 2020. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Panthers are looking to acquire more draft capital as the trade deadline approaches.

“Expect the post-Matt-Rhule Panthers to take a two-tiered approach to the next few weeks of roster-building,” Fowler explained on October 12. “Acquiring draft capital and shedding salary will be a strong consideration for the team, multiple rival front offices expect, especially with a quarterback-heavy draft looming.

“…Unloading multiple pieces — such as Robbie Anderson or even Christian McCaffrey if the right taker comes along — without tearing down the roster might be the prudent move.”

The Cowboys Have $10.2 Million in Remaining Cap Space

As Dak Prescott’s return nears, surrounding the quarterback with more offensive weapons would not be a bad strategy. Dallas has gone undefeated since Prescott’s injury, but the Cowboys have leaned heavily on their elite defense. Through the first five weeks, the Cowboys are averaging just 18.6 points per contest which ranks 24th in the NFL.

Dallas has been saving what owner Jerry Jones likes to call “dry powder” after having a thrifty offseason. The Cowboys have $10.2 million in remaining cap space which would allow the team to make a move for Anderson or another receiver.

Carolina could explore trades for young wideout D.J. Moore, but his price tag will be higher than acquiring Anderson. The Cowboys have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Moore if the Panthers are willing to part with the playmaker.

“D.J. Moore is the kind of electric talent who could once again give the Cowboys an elite receiving corps,” Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine suggested on October 12. “He has a three-season streak of 1,100 yard campaigns but has floundered in Carolina this season with Baker Mayfield at quarterback.

“The Panthers just fired Matt Rhule, making a fire sale at the deadline possible. That could put Moore on the trade block. As Dan Orlovsky of ESPN noted, the Cowboys should be among the teams giving Carolina a call.

“The Cowboys have the third-most cap space in the league right now, so they are one of a few teams who could find a way to add Moore’s salary to their payroll.”