Proposed Trade Sends Cowboys a Former Highly Touted $30 Million QB


Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The Dallas Cowboys have a Dak Prescott-sized hole for the quarterback to fill, and a former No. 3 overall draft pick may be available on the cheap. Now that Baker Mayfield has won the Panthers starting quarterback spot, Sam Darnold is one of the NFL’s highest-paid backups with an $18.9 million salary.

Darnold has been sidelined with an ankle injury, and Carolina could move on from his third-string quarterback for a much lower asking price. Bleacher Report’s Christopher Knox labeled the Cowboys and Cleveland Browns as top potential landing spots for the Darnold trade.

“As quarterbacks continue to hit the injury list, expendable quarterbacks like Sam Darnold will increase in trade value,” Knox wrote on September 14, 2022. “The Panthers are on reserve injured with a signal-collar ankle sprain but will be eligible to return in three weeks.

Darnold isn’t a high-end quarterback, but he has 49 starts on his resume. Meanwhile, the Panthers’ first overall pick of 2018 rolls out Baker Mayfield as their starter and PJ Walker as their backup. Darnold’s salary of $18.9 million is guaranteed in 2022, and if the Panthers can find a team to take any of that money, they’ll seize the opportunity.

“Right now, Dallas is the only team desperate for a quarterback — and its interest will depend on Prescott’s recovery timeline.”

What would a trade cowboy cost to Darnold?

A potential Darnold trade would likely look similar to what the Panthers did to the Browns for Mayfield. Cleveland paid most of Mayfield’s salary, and Carolina left only a conditional fifth-round pick. Darnold’s trade value is likely to be even lower, and the Cowboys may be able to land him at an even lower price.

Darnold’s best season came in 2019 when he threw 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, completing 61.9% of his passes in 13 appearances for the New York Jets. Darnold struggled during his time as the Panthers’ QB1 last season, scoring 2,527 yards, 13 interceptions and nine touchdowns, while completing 59.9% of his passes in 12 contests. He also added 222 rushing yards and five TDs to the ground.

Darnold does not offer an immediate solution to the Cowboys given his ankle injury, but is expected to return to the field sooner than Prescott. The Cowboys would be wise to invest more in the QB2 spot, even if Prescott comes back in full force given his recent injury history. Darnold, who is entering the final year of his $30.2 million rookie contract, could offer the Cowboys a potential long-term solution for the backup quarterback role.

Darnold has failed to live up to the expectations of being the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t emerge as a viable backup, something the Cowboys need to find solutions for Prescott’s injury history.

Jones Labels a QB Trade as Unlucky

USC QB Sam Darnold 2017 HighlightsFollow JBP on IG: (↓↓ click show more ) Follow me on Twitter: Follow me on Instagram: JBP on Twitter FOLLOW: JBP_Official Like JBP on Facebook: USC QB Sam Darnold Sophomore 6’4 220 lbs Watch my backup channel: Intro Song: watch?v=6nIJRyTTCNM (All rights go to University of Southern California,…2017-12-11T23:20:45Z

Despite the rumours, all signs point to the Cowboys leaning on Cooper Rush and Will Grier in Prescott’s absence. The Cowboys remain optimistic that Prescott will return sooner rather than later. During an interview with “Shan and RJ” of 105.3 The Fan on September 13, Jones mentioned that the Cowboys have no business “in the mill”.

“The guys who set out to play quarterback for us are the ones who played all preseason: Cooper Rush and [Will] Grier,” Jones said. “He had a real competition. Grier slowed down right there in the end with a hamstring problem, but he should recover now. So, we kept our practice sessions as well as those in all preseason games for the most part. Got a lot of good snaps.

“Those guys know the offense well, have a lot of reps and consequently give us our best shot. It’s not possible because we don’t have any potential trades pending – not pending, but in the mill – it’s unlikely you’ll have an experienced quarterback who can be back here and ready to play as well , as well as those guys can play, even if you think you can benefit from the talent.”

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