Will the Dallas Cowboys regret missing out on Josh Gordon?
Following the trade of Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots, will the Dallas Cowboys regret not trying harder to obtain the talented, but troubled receiver?
On Monday, the New England Patriots pulled off a trade for Josh Gordon. In exchange for the extremely talented and equally troubled 27-year old wide receiver, the Pats sent a conditional 2019 fifth-round selection to the Cleveland Browns. If Gordon fails to be active for at least 10 games this season, Cleveland will send New England a 2019 seventh-rounder in return.
Despite several reports that the Dallas Cowboys had no interest in acquiring Gordon, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted that America’s Team actually spoke to the Browns about a possible trade for said player.
Gordon’s exodus from Cleveland had been years in the making after several substance abuse issues and suspensions. But the Browns drew the line on Saturday after concerns of a possible relapse surfaced following the veteran receiver showing up late for a meeting and suffering from a mysterious hamstring injury.
The Browns initially intended to release Gordon outright on Monday, but his team-friendly contract ($790K in 2018; Restricted Free Agent in 2019) made him a better candidate for a low-risk trade instead. And according to the Schefter, the Cowboys at minimum had a conversation with Cleveland about him.
That’s really no surprise considering Dallas was rumored to be very interested in Gordon coming out of Baylor when he was available in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft. Plus, Dallas has a perceived need for a number one wide receiver following their split with Dez Bryant back in April.
Gordon had his best season in 2013, recording 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. Following that breakout performance, he was invited to the Pro Bowl and named a first-team All-Pro. The Browns went 4-12 that season and the starting quarterbacks under center were Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer.
Unfortunately, due to Gordon’s issues, he’s only played in a total of 11 regular season games since. And the Cowboys already have two players on their team struggling with substance abuse issues in defensive lineman Randy Gregory and David Irving. So surely some believed adding another similarly troubled player to the roster might be damaging to a young locker room in Dallas.
Yet, if the Patriots believed Gordon was worth the risk (a team the Cowboys seemingly want to emulate), will Dallas be kicking themselves if the move pays off for New England? At this point, it’s a wait-and-see.
Still, this feels like a trade the Dallas Cowboys would have made a few years ago. But led largely now by executive vice president Stephen Jones, this front office has become much more conservative. And that’s not always a good thing.