Cowboys Predicted to Trade Projected $115 Million Star for Top Draft Picks

Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb

Getty Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb

If you’re going to start over, you might as well really, really start over. And for the Cowboys, if there’s a chance that quarterback Dak Prescott is not in the future plans, then there may well be no point in having wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the future plans, either.

That is the thinking at the USA Today site Cowboys Wire, which is advocating in its latest mock draft a pair of megatrades that finish off the process that pretty much already began during this year’s NFL free-agency process—the dismantling of the Cowboys as we know them. Trading Prescott is one move. Trading Lamb is another.

Already gone are five starters from 2023, including stalwart left tackle Tyron Smith and running back Tony Pollard. The Cowboys have added precious little on the free-agent market, and declined to make the one move that could have kept the team together while also proving a new direction—firing Mike McCarthy and adding a new head coach.

Instead, the Cowboys’ strategy has been to keep McCarthy and sit on their hands through free agency. And if the 2024 season flops as badly as 2023 did, we’re likely in for a complete roster demolition. Why not just start it now?

CeeDee Lamb, Dak Prescott on the Trading Block

In addition to reaping a draft haul for Prescott, Cowboys Wire is advocating a two-pick haul for Lamb, sending him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for their first-round pick and their third-round pick. As the site notes, that package is similar to the one brought in by Tennessee when it traded A.J. Brown to Philadelphia.

Here’s the logic from Cowboys Wire writer K.D. Drummond: “If Dallas is going young at quarterback, signing Lamb to a long-term deal makes little sense. Instead, this adds more draft capital to a rebuilding offense. Dallas now has three first-round picks in the 2024 draft along with a ton of cap space moving forward with only Micah Parsons in need of a top-of-market extension.”

That’s, essentially, how the Cowboys and their fans would have to think about a post-2024 season, if things continue on their current path. Prescott replaced by Trey Lance and, likely, another young player. Lamb replaced by a player from this draft, which is loaded with wide receivers.

It would be Micah Parsons’ team, certainly, but it would look very, very different going forward.

Cowboys Could Ask for More

Of course, if the Cowboys put Lamb on the trade market, the hope would be that he would draw more than what Brown drew for the Titans in 2021. The impetus would be the same—money.

Brown wanted a big extension from the Titans, but they were not budging off what they wanted to pay him. So the Titans traded him, and the Eagles gave him a four-year, $100 million contract.

Lamb wants to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the game. Spotrac projects him to be close, at $28.8 million per year, with a four-year, $115 million total deal.

Brown was coming off a year in which he missed four games and totaled 869 yards on 63 receptions.

He had been excellent in his first two seasons, with 1,051 yards as a rookie and 1,078 yards in Year 2. Brown scored 24 touchdowns and averaged 69.7 yards per game in his first three years.

Lamb blows those numbers away: He is coming off a year in which he led the league with 135 receptions and totaled 1,749 yards. He averaged 78.0 yards per game in his career, and had 102.9 yards per game last season.

The Brown trade is a starting point, but if the Cowboys move Lamb, they should certainly expect to add more than two picks, even if they’re good picks.

All of this is a longshot. It’s likely the Cowboys play things out, grind through the 2024 season, then are left with a mess of an offseason. But they could get ahead of things by making some bold trades ahead of this draft.

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