We have often talked about the Cowboys adding another weapon to the offensive side of the ball to pair with the duo of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. No, wide receiver is not the biggest need for the Cowboys, but adding another piece for Dak Prescott to work with — especially with Randall Cobb off to Houston — could take this unit to an even higher level.
CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy have been wide receivers linked to the Cowboys in different mock drafts, but it is still unlikely that either one of those star pass catchers will still be on the board at pick 17. On the other hand, it is a deep and talented class at the position, even if Dallas cannot grab one of the tier-one options.
As for free agency, the choices are getting slimmer by the day. Emmanuel Sanders signed with New Orleans after rumored mutual interest between he and the Cowboys. Robby Anderson and Phillip Dorsett (who was also linked to the Cowboys through rumors) are also now off the market after inking with the Panthers and Seahawks, respectively.
Could another option be on the table?
The Robby Anderson-to-Carolina signing could have some ramifications that may have a talented weapon on the trading block. Matt Rhule has taken over the franchise and has quickly left his fingerprints on the team: Cam Newton is out of the door in favor of Teddy Bridgewater and Trai Turner was moved to the Los Angeles Chargers for the aging Russell Okung.
With Anderson joining an offense that already consists of D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey, would Rhule and the Panthers have interest in parting ways with 2017 second-round pick Curtis Samuel? The idea has been floated around by different people:
Would imagine Curtis Samuel is on the block with the Robby Anderson acquisition, or at least the Panthers would entertain an offer. Extremely interesting option for pretty much every team.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) March 24, 2020
With D.J. Moore and now Robby Anderson in Carolina, that could leave Curtis Samuel as the odd man out. He’d have a nice trade market if he were made available. Still a talented player.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 24, 2020
So now here's a question: What happens to Curtis Samuel now that Robby Anderson's there? Do they actually both receivers and Moore or now do the Panthers try to trade Samuel?— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) March 24, 2020
Even some surrounding the Panthers are sensing that a trade could at least be on the table:
Anybody else feeling a Curtis Samuel trade in the works? pic.twitter.com/Acef0Ve9c7— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) March 24, 2020
Should the Cowboys have any interest?
Short answer: Yes, the Cowboys should definitely have interest in trading for Curtis Samuel. The Ohio State product is a dangerous playmaker than has shown to be productive from different areas of the offense.
Moore and McCaffrey were the stars of the Panthers offense, but Samuel made an impact in his own right. The Brooklyn native has averaged over 10 yards per touch over in each of the last two seasons, scoring seven touchdowns in both 2018 and 2019. Samuel was also top-20 in the league in air yards a season ago.
Despite mediocre quarterback play from Kyle Allen once Newton went down with injury, Samuel was able to find ways to be effective. His sticky hands and speed make him a reliable target down the field, as shown here by this sideline grab:
This is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. Curtis Samuel is SO damn good, my people pic.twitter.com/Nc55l0c5vy— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) September 22, 2019
A big factor in what makes Samuel such an intriguing player is his dynamic ability. Not only can Samuel run routes, stretch the field, and catch the football, he has shown the ability to hurt defenses as a runner both at Ohio State and in the NFL.
The Cowboys have tried using Tavon Austin as a player to get the ball to on jet-sweeps and things of that nature (albeit under a different coaching staff), but imagine how much better those plays would be with Samuel instead.
In the end, it will come down to compensation.
As always when it comes to trades in the NFL — unless it is the Texans deciding to trade DeAndre Hopkins for a draft pick not in the first-round and an aging, declining, oft-injured running back — compensation plays a big role in getting deals done.
With a draft as deep and talented as this one appears to be, it would be foolish to part ways with anything better than a third-round pick. That is especially true when considering all of the needs that this team has to fill in order to field a truly competitive team next season.
It is tricky to know what the Panthers will be asking for in terms of compensation for Samuel. On one hand, he is a former second-round selection that has flashed during his three seasons in the NFL. On the flip side, the signing of Anderson and last season’s emergence of Moore may have the new regime ready to move on.
Teddy Bridgewater is not exactly known to be a quarterback to stretch the field either, which takes some value away from the rising fourth-year wideout.
If Curtis Samuel is truly on the table for a trade, the Dallas Cowboys would be very smart to get on the phones and find out what the Panthers are asking for. Adding a dynamic weapon next to Cooper, Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliott would be an exciting thing to see.