Dallas Cowboys: Top 10 Offseason Trades in the 21st Century

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 07: Center Travis Frederick
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 07: Center Travis Frederick /
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FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Quincy Carter
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Quincy Carter /

10. Quincy Carter Draft Trade (2001 NFL Draft)

Cowboys received:

53rd overall pick (Quincy Carter)

Saints received:

70th overall pick (Sedrick Hodge)

81st overall pick (Kenny Smith)

In the 2001 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons made a blockbuster deal with the San Diego Chargers to acquire the first pick in the draft. The Falcons picked quarterback Michael Vick, a dynamic athlete who would guide the Falcons to the mainstream.

The Dallas Cowboys were also looking to bump up their QB spot. Their first-round draft pick was lost in a trade the previous season for Joey Galloway. They needed to make a splash in the second round.

Dallas made various trades before finalizing with the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys gave away two third round picks in exchange for the Saints 53rd pick.

The Cowboys quickly selected Georgia quarterback Quincy Carter with the 2nd round pick while the Saints picked up linebacker Sedrick Hodge and defensive end Kenny Smith.

Carter became the first second-round quarterback to start Week One in his rookie season. He would have a rough year and finish with 5 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. His 2002 season was a challenge as well and he lost the starting job to Chad Hutchinson.

2003 proved as Carter’s brightest season. His numbers that year were not excellent, but he led the Cowboys to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The future seemed alright for Carter and the Cowboys.

That was until August 4, 2004, when Carter was released from the team following two failed drug tests. This put an end to the Carter era in Dallas.

The lasting legacy of Quincy Carter’s time is that his release led to third-string quarterback Tony Romo being retained. If Carter was not released, it is not likely that Romo would have made the team.