Despite playing in different conferences, the rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers is still among the most storied in NFL history. The teams have met in the Super Bowl three times, with Pittsburgh winning two championship showdowns. From former Pittsburgh safety Glen Edwards to ex-Dallas cornerback Larry Brown, the Cowboys and Steelers have provided some great theater throughout the years.
While the intensity of the rivalry on the field has since cooled, the two franchises might once again be ready to collaborate to provide yet another blockbuster moment.
This time, however, it would be at the trade table.
According to Bleacher Report, the Cowboys and Steelers would be smart to consider a deal which would find Steelers’ star wide receiver Diontae Johnson in Dallas, in exchange for a 2023 second-round draft choice. Johnson, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, has not publicly expressed a desire to move on from the Steel City. However, with Pittsburgh seemingly in the midst of a rebuild, the 26-year-old may benefit from a team built for immediate contention.
In that vein, Dallas may be a logical fit.
Per Bleacher Report:
Cowboys Get: WR Diontae Johnson
Steelers Get: 2023 second-round pick
While wideout Diontae Johnson would help the Steelers' next quarterback tremendously—he had 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns this past season—his Pittsburgh future is uncertain. While he hasn't requested a trade as Deebo Samuel has, Johnson is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Johnson was great last season but has only one 1,000-yard campaign on his resume. The Steelers may not be willing to give him, say, Terry McLaurin money (three years, $70 million) based on one strong season—especially after adding rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III to the receiver room this offseason. If the Steelers aren't willing to lock up Johnson, they could trade him out of the conference and to the Dallas Cowboys, who lost both Amari Cooper (traded) and Cedrick Wilson Jr. in the offseason.
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Despite the losses of both Cooper and Wilson, Dallas still boasts a formidable corps of receivers for 2022, led by top wideout CeeDee Lamb. As he enters his third season with the Cowboys, Lamb has become one of the league’s most-productive receivers. Over the past two years, he has compiled 153 catches for 2,037 yards and 11 touchdowns. In fact, Lamb’s synergy with Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott was arguably the primary reason for Dallas being amenable to trading Cooper.
While few will argue that Michael Gallup is a solid second receiver, the above report does raise a valid point about the wait for return from ACL surgery. Johnson is a budding star, and would immediately elevate Dallas’ receiver depth chart to elite status within the league. His 2021 Pro Bowl campaign saw him amass 1161 yards on 107 catches, eight of which went for touchdowns. His ability to be effective in all areas of the field would also make him a fast favorite of Prescott.
The scenario is hypothetical and fun. But it doesn't fully seem to cover Dallas' position on $100 million wideouts. As with DK Metcalf and other "sexy'' ideas, the Cowboys are already planning on Lamb being that pricy guy - and don't likely have interest in two pricy guys.
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