3 Reasons Why the Cowboys Should Trade for Jonathan Taylor (and 2 Why They Shouldn't)

Reasons why the Cowboys should, and shouldn't, trade for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.
Reasons why the Cowboys should, and shouldn't, trade for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

Why the Cowboys Should Not Trade for Jonathan Taylor

1. Contract demands and declining RB value

One factor going against a dream Taylor-Cowboys trade is the monetary implications of any deal. The 24-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie deal, but he's made it clear to Indianapolis that he wants to be rewarded for his Herculean efforts with a handsome extension.

Figuring out Taylor's value is even tougher considering today's stances on paying RBs. Many are against the idea of giving a running back a second deal, period, considering how drastic the decline is as the position ages.

There's also a legitimate alternative to paying a veteran: drafting his replacement. The structure of rookie deals, especially for RBs who are often non-first-round picks, allows franchises to reap massive rewards from players who vastly outproduce the value of their contracts.

Just take Dallas for example. Despite paying Ezekiel Elliott the big bucks, Pollard -- a former fourth-round pick -- gained momentum over the years to take over as the lead back. Now Pollard is the RB1, but the Cowboys wasted no time securing a potential future replacement by selecting Deuce Vaughn in the third round of the 2023 draft. Vaugh is scheduled to make just under $4 million for the length of his four-year rookie contract, while Pollard will be the league's seventh-highest paid RB in 2023 on the $10.1 million tag.

Trading for Taylor comes with the expectation that he'll be paid, or his unhappiness is just going to continue. Recent examples of lucrative extensions include Christian McCaffrey ($16.4 average annual value) and Alvin Kamara ($15 million AAV), but both were signed in 2020, which is a lifetime ago considering how fast the market has changed its mind on RBs.

Taylor's going to command something right around that range. With the Kamara contract already looking like a potential mistake, though, that's just further evidence on why it's wise to avoid that kind of investment.