Cowboys Considered Favorite to Sign Ex-$54 Million Star Receiver

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could pursue WR DeAndre Hopkins.

The Dallas Cowboys are considered the favorites to sign a recently-released star wide receiver.

The Arizona Cardinals released 30-year-old receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, May 26. The move is a bit surprising considering the Cardinals had shopped Hopkins in trade talks over recent weeks. However, it appears Hopkins’ age combined with his contract — worth two years and $54.5 million — and recent injuries prevented Arizona from finding a trade partner.

Cowboys Favored to Land DeAndre Hopkins

And now that Hopkins is free to pick wherever he wants to play next, the Cowboys have emerged as the favorites to sign the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. According to betting odds released by Bet Online, Dallas has 3-to-1 odds of signing Hopkins. The next favored teams on the list are the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.

The Cowboys being mentioned as the favorites to land Hopkins isn’t exactly surprising. Hopkins previously teased the idea of playing in Dallas when he filmed a video while hanging out with ex-Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant in Dallas.

While the Cowboys already pulled off a big trade earlier in the offseason in acquiring Brandin Cooks, they could choose to stockpile receivers by adding Hopkins. The question is, would Hopkins be willing to accept a lesser role alongside CeeDee Lamb and potentially have his targets cut into with the presence of three quality receivers in Lamb, Cooks and Michael Gallup?

CBS Sports’ Garrett Podell explained why a potential move for Hopkins would make sense for the Cowboys. Podell actually lists Dallas as Hopkins’ second-best possible destination behind Buffalo.

“They don’t necessarily need another big-money target with 2022 second-team All-Pro CeeDee Lamb headlining their group, but there’s a reason they traded a couple late-round picks to the Houston Texans for Brandin Cooks after flirting with Odell Beckham Jr. Adding a third proven route-winner like Hopkins to Lamb and Cooks would take pressure off of Michael Gallup as the No. 3, and when doesn’t Jerry Jones enjoy making a splash? The financials would be the biggest hurdle, but with many players entering the end of their rookie deals in the near future, the time is now for Dallas,” writes Podell.

Why Potential Hopkins Signing Could Benefit Both Sides

The move could be beneficial between both sides if Hopkins is willing to accept a lesser role than he’s used to. The 10-year veteran is still seeking his first Super Bowl title. In fact, Hopkins has never come close to playing in the Super Bowl, only advancing as far as the divisional round of the playoffs.

During the 2022 season, Hopkins remained productive during his nine appearances, posting 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns. However, he did see a dip in yards per reception (11.2 compared to 13.6 yards per reception during the 2021 season) and his three touchdowns were a major decline from the eight touchdowns he produced during the 2021 season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hopkins posted a 72.9 receiving grade last season. While that remains one of the better grades among receivers, it was his lowest grade since the 2016 season.

There are certainly better Super Bowl contender options when it comes to making a bigger impact — such as the Chiefs or Bills — but the Cowboys could present an easier path to the Super Bowl considering the NFC is a vastly weaker conference compared to the AFC.

It all really comes down to whether or not Hopkins is willing to play a secondary role for the first time in his career in a loaded wide receiver room.

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