The Dallas Cowboys better make changes to their receiver room this offseason. We say that tongue in cheek, but the front office has to do something to rectify shipping Amari Cooper to Cleveland for pennies on the dollar last year.
Even with inconsistent quarterback play between Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson, Cooper was as advertised for the Browns. He played all 17 games and caught 78 passes for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.
He saw the most targets of his career, and logged his most receiving yards since his Pro Bowl 2019 season — his first full year in Dallas.
Odds are the Cowboys don’t get their hands on another Cooper. That said, star receivers have a way of demanding trades. Whether the bill is due on their second contract, or their current team is rebuilding and nowhere close to competing, there’s seemingly two or three high-profile WRs every year that change teams.
Last offseason, it was Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and AJ Brown.
The market is still coming together this time around, but that didn’t stop NFL.com writer Adam Rank from linking Mike Evans to Dallas.
Could the Cowboys trade for Bucs WR Mike Evans this offseason?
Rank admitted he considered other WRs for this slot, including the Bengals’ Tee Higgins, whom we’ve mentioned as a potential Cowboys target, Broncos speedster Jerry Jeudy, and the perennially underrated DJ Moore.
"“Evans actually would be a great acquisition for a number of teams, including some seriously looking to make a Super Bowl run. Like the Dallas Cowboys, who are desperate to venture beyond the Divisional Round for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first term. Turns out Jerry Jones and Co. probably made a mistake dealing Amari Cooper last year. Dak Prescott needs more juice out wide, and I imagine Evans — a Texas native who starred at Texas A&M — wouldn’t mind playing for the ‘Boys . . .”"
Evans might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying his greatness. He’s the only player in NFL history to start his career with nine straight seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. This past season, he became the sixth player in league history to notch 10,000 receiving yards and at least 75 touchdowns in his first nine seasons.
Evans will get banged up every now and then — his hamstrings have been an issue in recent years — but he’s played at least 15 games in seven of nine seasons, so the notion that he’s an injury prone player is grossly overblown.
At 6-foot-5 and having averaged a whopping 15.3 yards per catch in his career, Evans is the perfect complement to CeeDee Lamb. As a field-stretcher, he represents everything Dallas lacks in its receiver room, and his ability to make contested catches would give the Cowboys the best WR corps in the game in that regard, as Lamb and Michael Gallup are two of the best in that department.
Evans carries a $23.698 million cap hit for 2023, but the Cowboys could lower that by restructuring his contract ($10.001 million in savings), or simply extending him ($10.688 million in savings).
It would admittedly make little sense for the Bucs to deal Evans, but that could change quickly if the front office embraces a rebuild.
Given the state of the roster after Tom Brady’s retirement, that’s certainly in the realm of possibility.