America’s Team and the soon to be Las Vegas Raiders have been business partners, or at least connected in business, for some time now. Players like Rolando McClain (who’s back in the news now amazingly), Darren McFadden, Brice Butler, Keith Smith, Jamize Olawale, Jihad Ward, Ryan Switzer, and of course Amari Cooper have all spent time with both clubs in recent memory. Could another name be added to the list?
It depends on who you ask, and if that person is Robert Mays from The Ringer then the answer is yes (although our own Danny Phantom answered yes to this question a few months back here at BTB). When discussing where potential trades could happen recently, Mays noted that Raiders safety Karl Joseph would make a lot of sense following Amari Cooper’s footsteps.
Possible landing spot: Cowboys. Dallas signed George Iloka this spring to bolster its safety depth, but the position remains the biggest weakness on an otherwise strong roster. Dallas has more than $19 million in cap space, so it would have no issue taking on Joseph’s relatively modest deal. Players selected by a departed GM are often excellent trade targets, and it seems like the Cowboys could land Joseph for the right price.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time (even in the last year) that the Cowboys made a deal for a former Raiders first-round pick. Could the Cowboys actually do it though?
Safety remains an enigma for the Cowboys
We know, and have known, for quite some time that Dallas is high on Xavier Woods while simultaneously holding a level of “enough belief” in Jeff Heath. When you add George Iloka to that mix you can convince yourself (on the right day) that this is enough. In reality though, it definitely isn’t.
Cowboys safeties have the benefit of playing for Kris Richard, but that doesn’t mean that legitimate talent shouldn’t be rotated in through the position (this isn’t meant as a knock towards Heath or Iloka). Joseph is a situation (given his contractual status) worth exploring on finances alone, and when you factor in that he improved significantly in 2018 you can really fall in love with the idea.
Karl Joseph improved all over the field in Year 3 pic.twitter.com/ScYjq8U0na— PFF (@PFF) April 3, 2019
We know that Jon Gruden and Co. aren’t necessarily hyped about Joseph as they drafted Johnathan Abram in the first round of this year’s draft (coincidentally with the pick that they got from the Cowboys). If there’s one thing we know about the second iteration of the Raiders under Gruden, it’s that they’re not shy about trading away players that they don’t believe are part of their plan or future. Karl Joseph doesn’t appear to be.
Truthfully, Joseph’s season of note a year ago can be broken into halves. The first was one in which he dealt with injury, but the second was extremely good which is why PFF graded him so high. If the Cowboys can get the Raiders to dance in an effort to land some serious talent at safety that’s certainly a route worth going down.
Also of note from the article, Mays listed Byron Jones and La’el Collins as potential trade pieces the Cowboys might want to send elsewhere to help alleviate their list of players who will need new contracts. He suggests the New York Jets as a possible landing spot for either Jones or Collins.