Monday, December 5, 2022

Cowboys urged to extend trade deadline for ‘scary’ Steelers WR

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With just a few weeks left until the NFL’s trade deadline, the Dallas Cowboys are being asked to complete a trade for a Pittsburgh Steelers star.

All in all, Dallas has had a dream start to the 2022 season. Though starting quarterback Dak Prescott missed a lot of time with a broken thumb, the Cowboys are 4-1 with backup QB Cooper Rush.

But the team has been linked with moves for wide receivers throughout the offseason, and that continues with a new piece from Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine. He believes Dallas should seek a trade for strong and physical Steelers WR Chase Claypool.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers could be another seller by deadline day after a terrible 4-1 start that includes a 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills,” Ballentine writes. “The Cowboys could offer the young receiver a fresh start in a better situation. He could be the physical possession receiver to complement the speedy Michael Gallup and the dodgy CeeDee Lamb. That would make offense scary again for opposing secondaries.”

It sounds good to round out the Cowboys’ broad receiver group with a proven veteran, but Dallas currently benefits from having Noah Brown as the No. 3 option.

After impressing in college at Notre Dame, Claypool was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. He offered an immediate return on their investment as his 6’4″, 238-pound frame translated well into the league.

Pro Football Reference shows that as a rookie, Claypool had 62 receptions for 873 and nine touchdowns while starting only six games. He nearly repeated those numbers in 13 total appearances in 2021, catching 59 passes for 860 yards but only catching two touchdowns.

Claypool quickly proved he could be a serious threat at the NFL level, but the Steelers’ move from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett this season has hurt his numbers.

In his five appearances, Claypool has 16 catches for just 129 yards. Quarterback play is obviously a factor, as Claypool has played 88% of all possible offensive snaps for Pittsburgh. He could be unhappy with his situation and desperate to get out, but Claypool’s move to the Cowboys would depend on the Steelers being willing to treat him.

Claypool may not be a factor in the Steelers’ offense right now, but there’s no reason to think his stock as a player has declined over the past five weeks. Back-to-back 800+ yard seasons are one thing, but he also has a full year and change left on his rookie contract with Pittsburgh.

If Claypool was in the final year of his contract, it could be a scenario where the Steelers would take whatever they can get for him. But he lived up to his draft pick in the second round, and the Steelers won’t let him go cheaply.

Ballentine offers no idea what Claypool would be worth, but it feels like a third-round or fourth-round pick is the minimum a team would have to pay. The former Fighting Irish star could be worth it, but there is some risk.

However, it is also very tempting to get Claypool 2023 cheap. Dallas currently has a good receiver group, but they could upgrade it for the foreseeable future by adding the Steelers star.

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