Breaking Down a New York Jets-Dallas Cowboys Trade Involving First Overall Pick and Dak Prescott

New York Jets

The 2020 New York Jets might go down as arguably the worst team in NFL history. The team has a -179-point differential to go with an 0-11 record, as they are well on their way to being the third-ever winless team. Moreover, with the first overall pick, the Jets would be in a position to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence – who is widely regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.

Except with the mayhem surrounding the Jets’ coaching and ownership, there remains another factor in the way even if they secure first overall. Lawrence may have indicated his intention to declare following the season, but he could pull an Eli Manning and force his way to play elsewhere. And that is where the Dallas Cowboys, the most valuable NFL franchise, might get in the way.

With the Cowboys sitting at 3-8, the team is heading for a top-five selection in their own right. Nevertheless, injuries and inconsistent play have held a very talented roster back in 2020. On Tuesday, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner proposed that the Cowboys trade up to acquire Lawrence. Such a deal would send quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ first-round pick to the Jets in return for the first overall pick. In the one-minute clip, Renner’s proposal comes across as fairly simple. Except, in reality, there is a lot more to it.

Breaking Down a New York Jets-Dallas Cowboys Trade Involving the First Overall Pick and Dak Prescott

Would Lawrence Evade Jets by Returning to School?

Since the New York Jets have become the favorites to land the first overall pick according to ESPN’s FPI, there have been rumors of Lawrence staying at Clemson to avoid being drafted by the Jets. At the same time, Lawrence seemingly said goodbye to Death Valley this past Saturday. Either way, there are factors such as ownership and poor coaching that are driving points in the debate.

Of course, Woody Johnson is unlikely to sell the team anytime soon. However, head coach Adam Gase is all but a lock to be gone by 2021. The supposed offensive guru has gone 7-20 as the Jets head coach, and the offense has been putrid during his tenure. The unit has seen little improvement, as they were actually more competitive back with Todd Bowles running the show.

With Gase on his way out, general manager Joe Douglas will be rebuilding this team. A new head coach will offer a fresh start for the organization. The Jets already have rising stars in receiver Denzel Mims, left tackle Mekhi Becton, and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. This off-season, the Jets stand to own six picks in the top 100 in the NFL Draft, as well as the second-most cap space per Spotrac this off-season. Certainly, poor coaching and lack of talent are discouraging, but that can be attributed to any team picking first overall any given year.

In the end, the decision comes down to what Lawrence chooses to do. Of course, he can return to Clemson, dominate another season, though he has little to prove and be risking injury. Or he can go to the Big Apple and immediately become the face of a franchise who with Douglas at the helm, appears to be trending in the right direction.

Where Do the Cowboys Stand?

This is a question that will remain with the Cowboys until the 2021 season kicks off. Despite all the talent on their team, they currently sit dead last in their division. Even before Prescott got hurt, the team still was struggling. The offensive line has been beaten up, and clearly has fallen from the unstoppable force it once was. The defense has been horrid, as anybody has been able to put points on them. Meanwhile, whether Andy Dalton or Ben DiNucci at quarterback, the offense is barely able to move the ball past midfield.

This off-season, the Cowboys are going to have to go through a long look at themselves, starting with head coach Mike McCarthy. With high expectations entering the season, locker room turmoil and other issues have arisen with the poor season. Additionally, after dishing out millions to players like Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence in recent years, the team must get creative in filling out their many needs.

Getting creative might be the best way for them to make a drastic change without completely rebuilding. Hence, the idea of trading Prescott, potentially to give the most profitable franchise in the league college football’s biggest star. A move that because of their own surplus of draft capital, is certainly on the table.

The Proposal Itself

In the clip, Renner begins by saying that “If you [Lawrence] don’t want to play for the Jets and force a trade. And as it stands right now no team makes more sense from a trade perspective than the Dallas Cowboys.” The exact proposal that he suggests that the Cowboys deal their first-round pick and quarterback Dak Prescott, assuming he is on a tag, in return for the first overall pick.

Let’s start with the Jets. This has been a painful 0-11 season, arguably the worst season in history. Yet, somehow, fans have bought into the “Tank for Trevor” mantra, because at the end of the tunnel might be their franchise savior. Of course, there was that same mentality back when the team selected Darnold third overall just three years ago. Fast forward to today, there is newfound hope. In large part because Douglas has earned the trust that he will do this right – by building through the draft.

Trading Lawrence to the Cowboys for Prescott would go completely against that. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback would be a significant upgrade over any recent Jets quarterback. However, Prescott is coming off of a brutal season-ending ankle injury. Prescott will be 28 years old next season, and likely prefer a new deal, not a tag. To virtually trade, a 21-year-old Lawrence for Prescott would be an uncharacteristic gamble for Douglas, even if the Cowboys also included their first-round pick too.

The Current Verdict on the New York Jets Bringing in Dak Prescott

Thus, virtually trading Lawrence to the Cowboys for Prescott would go entirely against that. Yes, Dak Prescott would be the best quarterback the New York Jets have had in a very long time right away. That is though, assuming he is healthy. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback was having a historic start to the season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. There also is the fact Prescott would be traded on a tag. Meaning either he plays a one-year deal, or the more likely scenario demands a hefty deal before the season. Ultimately, trading the first overall pick for the injured Dak Prescott and one first would be an uncharacteristic gamble for Douglas.

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