Category Archives: NFL Dallas Cowboys Player Trade

INDIANAPOLIS TRADE: Dallas Cowboys acquire DE Caesar Rayford from Colts

INDIANAPOLIS TRADE - Dallas Cowboys acquire DE Caesar Rayford from Colts - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

The Dallas Cowboys have filled their roster with the 53rd player on Tuesday, acquiring rookie linebacker/defensive end Caesar Rayford from the Colts.

The Cowboys have sent a late round (undisclosed) draft pick to Indy in exchange for the undrafted rookie, who started out with the Redskins before joining the Colts in May. Rayford made their roster, only to be sent to the Cowboys three days later.

Rayford had five sacks for the Colts, not only leading the team, but all NFL players in the preseason.
He’s considered a rangy player with long arms. Rayford ran a 4.56 in the 40 coming out of college at the Univ. of Washington. He’s also shown the ability to block kicks.

Rayford went undrafted out of Washington in 2008 and spent the last four years in the Arena Football League, where he had 28.5 sacks with the Utah Blaze. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound defensive end signed with the Colts in May and had a team-high five sacks, four tackle for loss and five quarterback hits in preseason. He also had two forced fumbles.

Rayford also played for the British Columbia Lions of the CFL and Spokane Shock of the Arena League.

Rayford came out of nowhere this summer, piling up a league-leading five sacks in the preseason. The undrafted defender — who projects as a 4-3 end in Dallas — earned high praise from Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who called Rayford a “football junkie.”

Rayford, 27, fills out the roster after the Cowboys had an empty spot after trading veteran tight end Dante Rosario. This is the fourth trade the Cowboys have made since Saturday. They’ve acquired Edgar Jones from the Chiefs, traded Sean Lissemore to the Chargers and Rosario to Chicago.

The trade might suggest the Cowboys are not that confident in Anthony Spencer’s return from a knee injury. Spencer has yet to practice since the first few days of training camp, before he underwent a scope on his knee.

Currently, the Cowboys are prepared to play George Selvie and Kyle Wilber at the end positions if Spencer doesn’t play.

AROUND THE NFL: Steelers acquire ex-Cowboys RB Felix Jones from Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles' Felix Jones arrives at NFL football training camp in Philadelphia July 25, 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers bolstered their injury-plagued backfield Friday, acquiring former Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones from Philadelphia for linebacker Adrian Robinson.

The deal is pending each player passing a physical.

Jones, 26, gives the Steelers needed depth at running back. Rookie Le’Veon Bell is out with a sprained right foot and is out indefinitely. Isaac Redman is dealing with a nerve injury, and return specialist LaRod Stephens-Howling sat out last Monday’s preseason game against Washington with a sprained knee.

Jones was the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Cowboys but never stayed healthy enough to become a feature back. He rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns in 64 games with Dallas.

It’s unlikely the Steelers consider Jones a short-term replacement for Bell, who sprained his foot against the Redskins. Bell said Thursday he is optimistic he’ll be able to return quickly.

DRAFT DAY EVALUATION: Bruce Carter erasing any regrets about not landing Seattle LB Bobby Wagner

DRAFT DAY EVALUATION - Bruce Carter erasing any regrets about not landing Seattle LB Bobby Wagner - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, TexasAfter the Dallas Cowboys traded their first- and second-round picks in April to move into position to draft Morris Claiborne, owner Jerry Jones claimed he would walk to New York to get back his No. 2 selection.

The Cowboys ended up sitting out of the second round entirely, significantly frustrating for Jones because of the depth of the talent pool available when the team’s original pick, No. 45 overall, rolled around. After the round ended, Jones confessed the team would’ve taken Utah State’s Bobby Wagner in that spot. The inside linebacker was chosen by Seattle two picks later, at No. 47 overall, and is now starting for the Seahawks.

While the Cowboys will get a vision of what could’ve been when they face Seattle’s defense on Sunday, it’s doubtful there is any regret on Jones’ part right now.

Bruce Carter, the 2011 second-round linebacker, has done just as the club had hoped another year off the torn ACL that dropped him out of first-round contention, winning the starting job and playing effectively.

Carter beat out free agent addition Dan Connor in training camp for the opportunity to play next to Sean Lee, another first-round talent, according to the Cowboys’ evaluation. After starting his rookie season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, he became a special teams contributor down the stretch in 2011.

“Carter, that’s like having another first-round draft pick,” Jones told The Fan (105.3-FM) in Dallas on Friday. “I know that when we trade, we trade a two on draft day for somebody’s one, that’s the equivalent of somebody’s one. That’s just in draft pick evaluation. So, he comes in here, he’s certainly at the level that you’d be looking at, at a No. 1 pick, and he had a camp and (is) playing like it.”

Should the Dallas Cowboys make bid for Colt McCoy?

If the reports are right about Cleveland putting Colt McCoy on the clearance rack, the Cowboys ought to offer the Browns a late-round pick.

This isn’t about creating competition for franchise quarterback Tony Romo or even backup Kyle Orton, for that matter. It’s about acquiring an intriguing developmental project for a low price.

The ex-Longhorn would be an upgrade over the Aggie.

The Cowboys clearly aren’t excited about Stephen McGee’s development. Had McGee impressed important Valley Ranch folks, they would have bumped him into the backup role instead of giving Orton a three-year, $10.5 million contract. McGee is expected to compete with waivers pickup Rudy Carpenter for a roster spot.

McCoy, who has two seasons left on his rookie deal and is due to make $540,000 this season, at least has the potential to develop into a quality starter. He really wasn’t too bad playing for a talent-starved Browns team, passing for 4,309 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 21 starts.

If McCoy comes to Dallas and performs well this preseason, perhaps the Cowboys could flip him for a better pick than they gave up to get him. If not, they’ve improved the No. 3 quarterback spot with a young player who has potential, even though he wouldn’t be a perfect fit in Jason Garrett’s system.

If the Browns are just looking to dump McCoy, there should be room for him at Valley Ranch.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Calvin Watkins: Why the Cowboys won’t trade Mike Jenkins

The Indianapolis Colts are interested in cornerback Mike Jenkins. I heard the Detroit Lions are, too. But there are other teams that want nothing to do with him.

Reality set in for me Friday when I was told, again, the Dallas Cowboys are not interested in trading Jenkins.

There are several reasons why. Let’s explore.

1. Injuries. Jenkins battled through shoulder, neck and knee issues last season and still tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups. In some ways, Jenkins was the Cowboys’ best corner last season given how badly Terence Newman played down the stretch and Orlando Scandrick’s own inconsistencies. But the Cowboys played five cornerbacks last season. The names? Jenkins, Newman, Scandrick, Alan Ball and Frank Walker. Newman, Jenkins and Scandrick — the top corners on the team — missed a total of nine games due to injuries last season. You can never have enough cornerbacks on your team considering how fragile the position can be. Morris Claiborne, Dallas’ first-round pick, hasn’t practiced yet with his new team while he recovers from wrist surgery. Scandrick battled ankle problems last season. You need depth on your team, and keeping Jenkins adds that.

2. Jenkins was good. He did make the Pro Bowl in 2009 as an injury replacement, so the Cowboys know he can play at a high level. His inconsistencies bother them, but Jenkins is good in man and zone coverage. He’s got the speed to run with speedy receivers and his size is good enough to take on taller receivers, too. The issue Jenkins faces is not being a physical corner. Jenkins isn’t afraid to mix it up with receivers and tight ends in tight spaces, but he doesn’t do it as much as he used to. Some NFL teams wish he would do it more. The question you have to ask yourself is, is Jenkins better than Scandrick?

3. The Cowboys’ trade needs. A front office source said the Cowboys want something significant for Jenkins if they deal him. What does significant mean? A fourth-round pick? Fifth round? Seventh round? It’s doubtful the Cowboys are getting a first- or second-round selection for Jenkins. Not because Jenkins isn’t worth it, but because he’s in the final year of his contract and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. The Cowboys don’t have much leverage. If you just want to give him away, you can always get a seventh rounder for him. But keeping Jenkins could also mean gaining an compensatory pick in next year’s NFL draft.

Calvin Watkins |

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"Hell No, That’s inaccurate!", says Dallas Cowboys brass on report that team has talked about trading Felix Jones

This being season of misinformation, rumor and innuendo means that every thing reported these days should be looked at with a crossed eye.

That being said, an ESPN note today regarding the possibility of the Cowboys getting rid of running back Felix Jones if they drafted a running back _ powered by the fact that they supposedly even had internal discussions about trading him _ caused me to run the info up the flag pole at the team’s Valley Ranch training complex.

From the scouting department to the front office, the texts came back "no", "not at all" to "Hell No! Totally Inaccurate."

The latter came from the front office.

Again, this is season of misinformation. So believe what you want, though its hard to see Felix Jones not being on the team in 2012.

RELATED: Cowboys deny shopping RB Felix Jones

In 2010, the Dallas Cowboys’ leading rushers were Felix Jones (800 yards), Marion Barber (374) and Tashard Choice (243). Choice is off the roster, Barber’s out of football and Jones’ future in Dallas is anything but certain.

Coach Jason Garrett has referred to the 24-year-old Jones as a "complementary" piece in the backfield, according to, which reported that Dallas spoke internally about trading the four-year veteran.

When the Fort Worth Star-Telegram texted the Cowboys to ask about the report, a flurry of texts came back from various sources declaring "no," "not at all," and "Hell No! Totally Inaccurate." (This final, emphatic text came straight from the front office, according to the newspaper.)

ESPN included Jones on a hot list of five Cowboys — along with Kenyon Coleman, Marcus Spears, Phil Costa and Kevin Ogletree — who might be shown the door depending on where Dallas goes in the draft.

DeMarco Murray’s 897 yards in just seven starts all but sealed Jones’ fate as a starter last season.

Murray’s debut — 25 rushes for 253 yards against the St. Louis Rams in Week 6 — moved Dallas from 29th to 13th in the league in rushing — in one game. Owner Jerry Jones gushed over the rookie and a fair amount of time was spent debating who should take the majority of the carries in Dallas — a debate that continues, according to the team.


Jerry Jones: The results are not acceptable but fans should feel good that Cowboys will spend money to win

It has been 16 years since the Dallas Cowboys last played in a Super Bowl, marking the longest such streak in franchise history.

Add in the fact that ten different team have made the Super Bowl from the NFC over the last decade while the Cowboys have just one playoff win and just four playoff appearances during that span and its an unacceptable situation, according to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

But when asked what Cowboys fans have to feel good about their team going forward, Jones pointed to the fact he routinely has the highest payroll in the NFL.

“One of things that can be utilized to do better is money,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD-FM. “We spend more money than anybody in football to have a good football team. We just have to do a better job in how we do it. It doesn’t always win it. Washington spends a lot of money. It doesn’t necessarily happen. But that is it NFL. But we have to realize this, that 10 different teams have gone to Super Bowl in the NFC over the last 10 years. We haven’t been one of them. That is not acceptable. We are trying to get there."

When looking to next year, Jones likes the mix with rookie Demarco Murray and Felix Jones at running back.

He also believes coach Jason Garrett will be better in his second full season as head coach.

“I like the experience Jason got,” Jones said. “It’s going to serve us well in the future.”

Jones is also excited about the progress the Cowboys can make in their second season under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, especially with them having the benefit of an off season to learn his system.

“I like philosophically what is happening on defense,” Jones said. “If you look at some of the better defenses, they match up to what Rob does philosophically. He will have offseason to institute what he does.”

Ironically Jones said Ryan compared favorably to former Cowboys head coach and now Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

It’s ironic considering that Ryan was hired in Dallas to improve the mess that was Phillips’ defense last year. But after leading the Texans to the second ranked unit in the league, Phillips has returned to be a standard bearer.

The Cowboys finished 14th in the league but seemingly got worse as the season went on. At the end of the season, they gave up too many big plays and couldn’t get pressure on the quarterback.

“Rob is not far off what Wade does (philosophically),” Jones said. “Wade has the No. 1 or No. 2 defense down there. But Rob is not far off. Rob has more emphasis on the secondary and less on the front. I like what we are doing on defense. We got to get better and not give up the big plays.”

It should be noted that Phillips improved a Texans defense that finished 30th last year to second in 2011. The Cowboys finished 23rd last year and 14th in 2011.

Anthony Spencer: Dallas Cowboys’ pass rushers have ‘all the confidence in the world’ right now

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) as middle linebacker Keith Brooking (51) runs in to help


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) as middle linebacker Keith Brooking (51) runs in to help


The Cowboys went through a four-game stretch where they had only one sack in three of the games. But now they’re back on a sack roll. They have 12 in the past three games, boosting their confidence.

“We believe we’ve got some of the best pass-rushers in the league,” said defensive end Anthony Spencer, second on the Cowboys with six sacks. “It’s all about confidence, and I think we have the right type of confidence in this room. I don’t think we really lost any confidence in that game. We just didn’t make the plays that we needed to make last weekend. We know we have the personnel to make plays. We’ve got all the confidence in the world right now.”

The Cowboys sacked Kevin Kolb four times in the first half last week, but they got to him only once after halftime. A game earlier, they sacked Matt Moore three times in the first half but only once in the second half.

Both quarterbacks proved more elusive in the second half, and the same might be true of Eli Manning of the New York Giants, who the Cowboys face Sunday night. Despite being a pocket passer, Manning has been sacked only 21 times in 12 games. The Giants have allowed the fifth-fewest sacks in the league.

“He’s the same way,” Spencer said. “He makes plays out of the pocket. He gets out on the run when he has to. He’s a proven quarterback in this league. He’s been playing well. We have to bring our ‘A’ game, we know that.”


Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray plays like first-rounder | Cowboys running back setting franchise records

IRVING, Texas — Jerry Jones routinely requests that his old buddy Barry Switzer studies college running backs, heavily weighing the former coach’s opinions on the position while building the Dallas Cowboys’ draft board.

Switzer didn’t need to watch a single play from the film the Cowboys sent last offseason to strongly recommend Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray.

DeMarco Murray set a Cowboys franchise record for rushing yards in a three-game span in his first few weeks as the primary ball carrier.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
“The first time I ever saw him run the football, I knew the guy was special,” said Switzer, who remains a legendary fixture around the Oklahoma program after leading the Sooners to three national titles in the 1970s and ’80s. “When I saw him as a freshman, I thought he was a first-round pick.”

RECORD BOOKS: Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten closing on Ozzie Newsome

Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten scores a touchdown around Seattle Seahawks' Kam Chancellor during second half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Cowboys won 23-13. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS / © SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS (NFS)

Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten scores a touchdown around Seattle Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor during second half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Cowboys won 23-13. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS
IRVING, Texas — With two catches Sunday against Buffalo, Jason Witten will pass Ozzie Newsome for third place among tight ends for receptions all-time.

Newsome had 662 receptions in his Hall of Fame career. Witten has 661 after his four-catch, 71-yard outing against Seattle on Sunday. Only Tony Gonzalez, a sure Hall of Famer once he decides to retire, and Shannon Sharpe, who was inducted this summer into the Hall of Fame, would be ahead of Witten.

Gonzalez has 1,108 catches and Sharpe has 815.

“I said a while back it’s kind of surreal to think about passing a guy like that,” Witten said. “Until Tony came along he was the greatest tight end. He and John Mackey were the staples of what this position is all about. It will be special to be able to do that, but at the same time, you’re so intent on winning games that you don’t have time to look back at it. But it will be surreal for me. When I came into this league, I never thought about something like that. I just thought about getting better and better and better, so that’s been my mentality. You spend time in the film room to find five or six things I can work on to get better. If you keep that approach, good things will happen.”

Witten turns 30 next March and signed a contract extension through 2017 before the season started. He is on pace for 88 catches and 1,096 yards this season.

Does he have a chance to catch Gonzalez or is he putting the record so far out of reach?


DALLAS COWBOYS RING OF HONOR: Emotional day for Drew Pearson, Charles Haley, and Larry Allen

Video link – Click HERE

After waiting many years for his place in the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, Drew Pearson didn’t know what to do Sunday once he put on that blue jacket.

“It was like a feeling of satisfaction, it was a climax to a journey,” Pearson said. “It’s a very emotional time. If I wasn’t so vain, I probably would have cried out there. But the tears were definitely flowing inside.”

Offensive tackle Larry Allen and defensive end Charles Haley joined Drew Pearson as the three inductees into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor during halftime of Sunday’s game against Seattle.

Drew Pearson, 60, was inducted into the Ring of Honor 28 years after he retired from the NFL.

“It doesn’t bother me because it’s now,” Pearson said. “It’s nice to be going forward where you don’t have to be asked that question anymore … why aren’t you [in the Ring of Honor]?”

“My kids thought that was my first name for a long time, because everybody comes up to me [and says] ‘why aren’t you in, why aren’t you this?’”

Charles Haley also was emotional during the post-Ring of Honor news conference. He said he’s not thinking about whether joining the Ring of Honor will help him make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I’m thinking that Jerry Jones is a great man right now, that’s what I’m thinking,” said Haley, who played for the Cowboys from 1992-’96. “I’m not thinking about tomorrow. You can write and think about tomorrow. I’m thinking about today and how great today is. I’m enjoying this moment and I hope you help me enjoy this moment.”

Larry Allen also was enjoying his moment.

“Before every game I would look up there [at the names of the other Ring of Honor inductees] the most,” he said. “At a certain point of games, I would just look up there…. try to find a way to get up there.’’

On Sunday, Larry Allen finally made it “up there’’ in the Ring of Honor. So, too, did Drew Pearson and Charles Haley.


RELATED: Dallas Cowboys add three players to Ring of Honor

ARLINGTON — The Dallas Cowboys stayed in the playoff hunt with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but the big story at the game came at halftime, as three of the team’s greatest players were added to the Ring of Honor.

It’s been six years since the Cowboys inducted new members into the Ring, when the “Triplets” — Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith — saw their names unveiled at the old Texas Stadium.

On Sunday, Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson joined them.

Allen was a domanant offensive guard who played for the Cowboys from the mid-1990s into the 21st century. He made 11 Pro Bowl appearances during his career in Dallas and played on their Super Bowl XXX team.

“I’d like to thank Jerry [Jones] and his family; the Cowboys organization; my beautiful wife; my three great kids; I’d like to say thank you for playing for the greatest fans in America,” Allen said.

Haley played on that team, too, and on the other two Cowboys championship teams from the 90s. Haley also won a couple of Super Bowls in San Francisco.

“This is not a right, but a privilege, and God knows… this is one of the greatest things that’s happened in my life,” Haley told the cheering crowd.

Drew Pearson is the one we’ve been waiting for… but not as long as he’s been waiting. His last season with the Cowboys was in 1983.

“I waited. I prayed. And because I prayed, I always believed that this day would one day come,” Pearson said. “And I am so happy and so proud to be a part of this distinguished Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor!”

The three added Sunday are all very deserving and bring the total number of Cowboys in the Ring of Honor to 20.

Courtesy: TED MADDEN | WFAA Dallas


Backup link to video:

WRITERS ROUNDTABLE: Will DeMarco Murray gain 100 yards against the Eagles’?

This question was posed to the five ESPN-Dallas/Ft. Worth Dallas Cowboy correspondents. Please read their answers and participate in the The Boys Are Back reader poll below.

Will DeMarco Murray gain 100 yards against Philadelphia’ 23rd-ranked run defense?


Jean-Jacques Taylor: Murray will break some long ones

No one in his right mind expects DeMarco Murray to have another 200-yard performance this week, but the Eagles give up so many big plays on the ground that he should eclipse 100 yards.

We’re talking about the 23rd-ranked run defense that’s allowing 4.8 yards per carry. More important, the Eagles have yielded 23 runs of 10 yards or more in just six games.

Trust me, that’s hard to do.

They’ve also yielded six runs of 20 yards or more.

The one thing Murray proved he could do in his record-setting performance against the hapless Rams and their raggedy run defense is make the big play. He had two runs of 19 yards, a 43-yarder and, of course, the 91-yard sprint to the end zone that set up his 253-yard performance.

On his 91-yard run, Murray flashed his speed and vision. Once he burst in to the secondary, he made a nifty cut on the safety and he was gone.

On the 43-yard fourth-quarter run that allowed him to break Emmitt Smith’s franchise rushing record, he ran over a defender at the line of scrimmage and zoomed into the secondary instead of being dropped for no gain.

That versatility should serve him well Sunday against the Eagles.

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ROSTER: Felix Jones injury takes Tashard Choice off the trading block

Dallas Cowboys RB Tashard Choice
Dallas Cowboys RB Tashard Choice

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has been contacted by at least two teams  about possibility trading for running back Tashard Choice. But the injury to  Felix Jones, who will be out two to four weeks with a high ankle sprain, have  forced the Cowboys to take him off the market, Jones said on his radio show on  105.3 The Fan.

“Any time anybody calls you, you give it some thought,” Jones said. “But with  the injury to Felix and where he is with his sprained ankle, I’m doubtful that  anything will happen there. And, no, I don’t see any other trade  possibilities.”

Rookie DeMarco Murray will likely get the bulk of the carries in place of  Jones but the Cowboys no longer have the luxury of parting ways with Choice. The  need him to share the load with Murray. They also need him as a veteran option  to along with Murray and fellow rookie Phillip Tanner, who made the team as an  undrafted free agent.

BREAKING NEWS: Raiders agree to terms on deal for Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer traded to Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer traded to Oakland Raiders


The Raiders have agreed to terms on a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals that would send quarterback Carson Palmer to Oakland for a 2012 first-round draft pick and a conditional pick that could become an additional first-rounder in the future, Fox Sports Insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported Tuesday, via Twitter.

The Raiders have been active in the quarterback market ever since Jason Campbell broke his collarbone during a 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. It had been reported that the club was interested in acquiring Palmer, but the quarterback’s rocky history with Bengals owner Mike Brown made pulling off a trade an uphill battle.

Glazer reported that Raiders coach Hue Jackson’s close relationship with Brown played a large role in getting him to move away from his hard stance that Palmer, who has not thrown an NFL pass since the end of the 2010 season, would not get his wish for a trade before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

While all expect the Raiders to land Carson Palmer, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reports that the Raiders have yet to cancel their Tuesday quarterback workouts and have not told those involved to cancel their plans. The Raiders are not likely to cancel the workouts until the Palmer deal is finalized.

Palmer, who will turn 32 in December, played in 97 games during his eight years with the Bengals, compiling 22,964 yards, 154 touchdowns, 100 interceptions and a 86.9 passer rating.

Palmer was the only Bengals quarterback to throw for 4,000 yds in a single season (2006, 2007) and the only one to throw 30 touchdown passes in a single season (2005).

The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback led the Bengals to AFC North championships in 2005 and 2009 but struggled last year. The Bengals stumbled to a 4-12 record in 2010 as Palmer threw a career-high 20 interceptions.

With Palmer threatening to retire if he wasn’t traded, the Bengals proceeded to draft quarterback Andy Dalton in the second
round of the 2011 draft and have jumped out to a 4-2 mark under the rookie signal-caller, making Palmer expendable.

The Raiders are now without 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, however, they will receive compensation picks for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, tight end Zach Miller and offensive lineman Robert Gallery.

La Canfora also reports that Palmer has four years and $50 million left on his current contract and stands to earn $11.5 million in 2011. Palmer also sold his Cincinnati area home in May for $1.9 million.

Dallas Cowboys will face Brandon Lloyd; Rams trade for Broncos receiver

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Tim Tebow has lost his top target even before making his first start of the season.

The Denver Broncos traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd, the league’s leading receiver last year, to the St. Louis Rams on Monday for a conditional 2012 draft pick.

The move comes a week after Tebow supplanted Kyle Orton at quarterback and six days before Tebow’s first start at Miami.

While the trade provides opportunities for young receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Matt Willis, it also opens the organization to increased scrutiny in the midst of its 1-4 start.

“We think it’s a position of strength,” Broncos coach John Fox said of his receiving corps. “We’ve got some guys coming back — Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Royal — and (we like) the emergence of Eric Decker.”

Lloyd said the trade was a mutual effort. He said he wanted to be a featured receiver in a more pass-oriented offense and thought his departure was best not just for his own career but for those of the receivers he left behind.

And Lloyd stressed his desire to leave Denver was unrelated to the Broncos’ quarterback switch last week.

“This had nothing to do with Tim,” Lloyd told 104.3 The Fan radio station in Denver. “I’m like everybody else, I find it hard not to like the kid and I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he wants to accomplish in his career.

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TRADE DEADLINE: NFC East trade speculation

The Cowboys could look to trade either running back Tashard Choice or tight end Martellus Bennett in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadline. Both are high-talent guys who haven’t panned out and now seem extraneous in Dallas, so it makes some sense to see about getting a good draft pick for one of them. Calvin Watkins talked to Choice, who said he’d like to stay in Dallas but whatever, and he seems to think they have reason to keep Bennett around. Choice has shown a flash or two here and there, so a running back-needy team could take a chance, you never know.

Of course, the two biggest names being thrown around on the trade market today are those of Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd and Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. And those are big enough names to catch anyone’s attention. It’s hard to imagine the Giants, Eagles or Cowboys making a trade to get a big-time receiver, since all three of those teams seem fine with what they have at receiver right now and the price for guys like Lloyd and Wayne is likely to be high. I guess Wayne would be the second-best receiver on the Giants if they got him, but that doesn’t feel like a move the Giants would make.

People will connect these names to the Redskins, since Washington’s wide receiver corps has plenty of numbers but no real big names. A field-stretching guy would be a nice complement to the precision, route-running possession guys the Redskins have, but prior negative experience with Lloyd (with the Redskins and with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan while both were in Denver) almost certainly makes Lloyd a no-go. And since the Redskins’ plan all offseason seemed to be to conserve resources to continue their rebuilding project next spring and summer, I’d be surprised to see them make a big move for a guy like Wayne. Sure, if they win this week and get to 4-1 the temptation will be to “go for it.” And they should. But the Redskins are more likely to “go for it” by sticking with the plan that got them to where they are this season — good defense and an uncomplicated offense designed to minimize the chance for mistakes. I don’t think asking Rex Grossman to throw downfield more, no matter who they bring in for him to throw to, is in the plan.

But I could be wrong, and we’ll surely talk plenty more about this stuff between now and Tuesday.

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