The Dallas Cowboys are apparently in the market for a new receiver, and one Detroit Lions receiver could be the perfect addition.
The Cowboys worked out two receivers about a week ago, welcoming Maurice Alexander and former TCU star KeVontae Turbin to The Star for workouts. Neither player has been signed, so it appears as if Dallas is still looking.
One idea would be to trade for a player if the free agent options aren’t cutting it, and a name that sticks out is Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus. Cephus is entering his third NFL season with solid years of production behind him, but he may struggle to make their roster after their recent additions in the offseason.
Detroit drafted Jameson Williams in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, and also added former Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark. As Pride of Detroit detailed, Cephus also has unexpected competitors for a roster spot as the Lions brought back Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond.
With a talent like Cephus in a tough spot, Detroit could feel like cashing out on the former fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft. If so, the Cowboys could make their move by dealing out Cooper Rush, a quarterback who would likely become Detroit’s No. 2 quarterback, and maybe even put pressure on starting QB Jared Goff.
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Lions WR Finds a Role in Detroit
After a massive final season with Wisconsin, Cephus’ stock as a NFL prospect shot up. He totaled 901 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2019, per Sports Reference. NFL.com labeled Cephus as a receiver who “works aggressively” to win passes and plays with the intensity level fans want to see.
Injuries, including a shoulder issue that took him out for 12 games in 2021, have somewhat hindered Cephus but his production has been solid all the same. According to PFR, Cephus has totaled 553 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 35 receptions.
His 15.8 receiving yards per reception should be especially enticing, especially when adding in his 61.4% catch rate. It’s clear that Cephus has skills, but injury and new blood has limited his chances.
How Cowboys QB Trade Would Work
Rush turned heads in the NFL in 2021 when he led the Cowboys to a 20-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. Rush threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns (and an interception,) giving Dallas a key mid-season win while Dak Prescott was out.
Rush’s stock has never been higher, so dealing him now would be opportunistic. Further, the Lions currently have three quarterbacks on the roster in Goff, David Blough and Tim Boyle as their current options.
Blough has four career touchdowns to six interceptions, while Boyle has three career touchdowns to six interceptions. Considering the Lions have accumulated a lot of offensive playmakers, neither feel like solid options that could still get wins should Goff go down.
Player swaps at this point in the offseason are rare, but the Lions can deal a player that’s not vital to their team, while bringing in a QB that has a better chance of performing well in a worst case scenario.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys get a player with established upside and finish rounding out the receiver group. On paper, this potential player swap would be a win-win.
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