Proposed Cowboys Trade Swaps QB for ‘Aggressive’ Lions WR

Quintez Cephus

Getty Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus.

The Dallas Cowboys are apparently in the market for a new receiver, and one Detroit Lions receiver could be the perfect addition.

The Cowboys worked out two receivers on July 11, welcoming Maurice Alexander and former TCU star KeVontae Turbin to The Star for workouts. Neither player was signed, so it appears Dallas is still looking.

The Cowboys could trade for a player if the free agent options aren’t cutting it, and a name that sticks out is Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus. Cephus is entering his third NFL season with two solid years of production behind him but may struggle to make the Lions roster because of their additions at receiver.

Detroit drafted Jameson Williams in the first round and added former Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark. Pride of Detroit wrote on June 23 that Cephus also will have competition from two veterans who were with the Lions for all or part of 2021, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond.

With a talent like Cephus in a tough spot, Detroit could feel like cashing out on the former 2020 fifth-round pick. If so, the Cowboys could make their move by dealing out Cooper Rush, a quarterback who would likely become Detroit’s No. 2 quarterback and perhaps even put pressure on starting QB Jared Goff.

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Lions WR Finds a Role in Detroit

After a massive final season — 901 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 —  with Wisconsin, Cephus’ stock as an NFL prospect shot up. labeled Cephus as a receiver who “works aggressively” to win passes and plays with the intensity level fans want to see.

Injuries, including a shoulder issue that took him out for 12 games in 2021, have somewhat hindered Cephus, but his production has been solid all the same. Cephus has totaled 553 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 35 receptions.

His 15.8 receiving yards per reception should be especially enticing, especially when factoring his 61.4% catch rate. Cephus has skills, but injury and new blood has limited his chances.

How Cowboys QB Trade Would Work

Rush turned heads Week 8 last season when he led the Cowboys to a 20-16 win over the Minnesota, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns (and an interception) and giving Dallas a key midseason win while Dak Prescott was out.

Rush’s stock has never been higher, so dealing him now would be opportunistic. Further, the Lions currently have three quarterbacks on the roster in Goff, David Blough and Tim Boyle as their current options.

Blough has four career touchdowns to six interceptions, while Boyle has three career touchdowns to six interceptions. Considering that the Lions have accumulated a lot of offensive playmakers, neither seems like a solid option to back up Goff if he goes down.

Player swaps at this point in the offseason are rare, but the Lions could deal a player who’s not vital to their team while bringing in a QB who has a better chance of performing well in a worst-case scenario.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys would get a player with established upside and finish rounding out the receiver group. On paper, this potential player swap would be a win-win.