Dallas Cowboys: Is a trade for Josh Gordon in the works?
The Dallas Cowboys need a playmaking wide receiver. The Cleveland Browns want to part ways with Josh Gordon. Seems like a match, right? Not quite.
Following a poor showing by the Dallas Cowboys passing attack in Week One, many pointed to the lack of star power at wide receiver as a reason for the loss. After moving on from former number one wideout Dez Bryant in April and the sudden retirement of tight end Jason Witten in May, Dallas has now created a receiver-by-committee situation.
The Cowboys certainly have plenty of potential candidates for that lead receiver role vacated by Bryant. Names like Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams, and Deonte Thompson. Although all have played well at times during the offseason, not one has been able to separate themselves from the pack.
And through Week One, the Cowboys passing offense ranks a lowly 30th in the NFL. Against a suspect Carolina Panthers’ defensive secondary, quarterback Dak Prescott and his group of role-playing receivers posted just 138 net passing yards and zero touchdowns through the air.
So is it any wonder that when news of the Cleveland Browns’ plans to release wide receiver Josh Gordon was announced on Saturday, Cowboys fans sat up and took notice. Many of them reaching out on social media, hoping Dallas could be in the hunt for his services.
And why not, right? Gordon is a former Baylor Bear whom the Cowboys were rumored to be very interested in before the Browns snatched him up in the second round of the 2012 Supplemental Draft. And the 6-foot-3, 225-pound veteran is undeniably an ultra-talented receiver, posting his best season in 2013 racking up 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine scores.
Unfortunately, due to numerous drug-related issues and suspensions, Gordon has only played a total of 11 games following that banner season nearly five years ago.
And the fact the Browns are finally willing to part ways with him after waiting years for Gordon to make his way back to the playing field tells you exactly what you need to know about his current situation.
Gordon admitted he’s been dealing with substance abuse issues since middle school. That according to Browns’ beat writer for Cleveland.com Mary Kay Cabot. Cabot also explained that the decision to part ways with Gordon came suddenly, although it followed years of multiple second chances.
"“When Gordon did show up at the Browns facility on Saturday ‘a little tardy,” according to one of the sources, he complained of a pulled hamstring, but he was fine in practice on Friday … Team doctors examined him, and in addition to the tweaked hamstring, there was concern that perhaps he was struggling again with his sobriety or on the verge of relapsing, sources said.”"
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there are as many as five teams who have contacted the Browns about a possible trade for Gordon despite the concerns. That’s how talented he is. As a vested veteran, if Cleveland releases Gordon as they originally intended to do on Monday, he becomes an instant free agent. A trade would mean a team would take on the player, his contract (only $790K this season, restricted free agent in 2019) and, unfortunately, his issues.
Are the Cowboys one of those teams trying to make a deal for Gordon? Longtime Cowboys insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tweeted that sources told @NBCDFW and @NBCDFWSports the team has no interest in the troubled wide receiver. But this is the same team that once signed troubled defensive end Greg Hardy.
The Dallas Cowboys have similarly troubled players like Josh Gordon on their roster in defensive end Randy Gregory and defensive tackle David Irving. Both of whom the team currently believes in and are actively supporting through their drug-related issues. The Cowboys have always said they make these types of personnel decisions on a case-by-case basis. But at this point, it does seem unlikely Dallas would want to add yet another disruptive element to a very young locker room that is still struggling to find their identity without veterans like Bryant and Witten to lean on.