Emmanuel Sanders signing with the Dallas Cowboys would easily give the team one of the best receiving corps in the league.
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been big spenders in the free agent market in recent years, opting instead to build their team through the draft and holding on to homegrown talent. As expected, the team tagged quarterback Dak Prescott and re-signed wide receiver Amari Cooper.
They also let a number of other players walk, including wide receiver Randall Cobb, who signed a three-year deal worth $27 million ($18.75 million guaranteed) with the Houston Texans.
While Dallas could turn to the NFL Draft for a replacement for Cobb, the team has reportedly “expressed interest” in Emmanuel Sanders.
According to NFL Network reporter Jane Slater, Sanders has mutual interest in signing with the Cowboys.
Sanders is coming off a solid 2019 campaign in which he totaled 66 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. He was traded from the Denver Broncos to the San Francisco 49ers mid-season and made an immediate impact, finishing with 36 catches for 502 yards and three touchdowns in 10 regular season games. He added five more catches for 71 yards in the playoffs.
Mind you, all of this was on a team quarterbacked by Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw just 58 passes total in the playoffs. I’m sure we all are familiar with the missed deep ball in Super Bowl LIV; Garoppolo overthrew a wide open Sanders for what would have been a sure touchdown to give the 49ers the lead with less than two minutes to go.
Point being, at 33-years-old, Sanders has been tremendously effective on the field. He would be a huge get for the Cowboys if they can work out a deal. Earlier this month, I wrote how Dez Bryant could be a good fit for the Cowboys, giving them flexibility and much-needed veteran leadership. As I wrote, Dez Bryant could create mismatches in the slot or play on the outside, freeing up Amari Cooper to move inside where he has been very productive in the past.
Well, everything that Bryant would do, Sanders also brings to the table — and without the media circus. Sanders has proven to be an effective slot receiver and, as we saw in the Super Bowl, still has the speed to blow past defenders. At the very least, he’d be a serviceable replacement for Randall Cobb; but personally, I think he’d be an upgrade for the team.
Adding Sanders to a wide receiver corps that already includes Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup would be deadly. It would give head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore a new, proven weapon to play with.
For opposing defense, it would be pick your poison when facing the trio of Cooper, Gallup and Sanders. All three would have the potential to flourish on any given Sunday and as the likely No. 3 receiver, Sanders wouldn’t take on the burden of facing an opposing team’s best defensive back. This group would give defensive coordinators all sorts of fits.
Sanders is coming off a three-year, $33 million contract extension that he originally signed with Denver back in 2016. The Cowboys quietly freed up some cap space but I doubt they’re willing to pay big bucks for what would essentially be No. 3 wide receiver. Remember, they’re still trying to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal.
If they can sign Sanders at a value similar value to what Cobb is getting, it would be a big win for the team. The Dallas Cowboys would easily enter the 2020 NFL season with one of the most dangerous wide receiver corps in the league.