Proposed Trade Sees Cowboys Acquire $13 Million Star RB

The Dallas Cowboys would be an ideal landing spot for one of the top running backs in the NFL in a trade proposal pitched by Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay.

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In the proposal, the Cowboys would trade a 2025 fourth-round draft pick in exchange for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris. Kay wrote that Harris would likely be entering his final season in Pittsburgh after they declined his fifth-year option. He’s currently in the final year of his four-year, $13 million rookie contract.

By trading Harris, they would be able to get ahead of the curve and acquire compensation before he would potentially leave in free agency next offseason.

“Considering the Steelers declined Harris’ fifth-year option, it’s looking likely that the 2024 campaign will be Harris’ final in western Pennsylvania,” Kay wrote in a May 7 story about trades “that should still happen before” the season. “Rather than lose him for potentially nothing next spring — and a lowly compensatory draft selection at best — Pittsburgh’s brass could get ahead of the departure by securing some 2025 draft compensation for his services.”

Najee Harris Ranks as One of NFL’s Most Durable Runners

The former first-round draft pick has been one of the more consistent running backs since entering the NFL in 2021. Harris has run for over 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons in the league. He has the fourth-most rushing yards of any running back in the NFL in that time frame and ranks second in carries (834), behind only Derrick Henry.

However, Harris has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, which is among the lowest at the position.

It’s clear that Harris has established himself as a durable running back capable of carrying a heavy workload. However, it’s also clear that he lacks big-play ability and that there’s a ceiling on his ability to carry the ball.

When you factor in that backup running back, Jaylen Warren, possesses more big-play ability — he averaged 5.3 yards per carry last season — the Steelers may have thoughts of shifting more carries to Warren.

With that being said, the Cowboys are lacking viable options at starting running back. Dallas went through the entire 2024 NFL draft without selecting a runner. Meanwhile, they added former back Ezekiel Elliott — who has the most carries among active NFL running backs — and veteran Royce Freeman.

They also return Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle from last season. However, none of those guys has started a single game during his career.

Najee Harris’ Name Previously Linked to Cowboys Rumors

This isn’t the first time Harris’ name has been linked to the Cowboys, according to Kay. However, NFL Network’s Jane Slater’s report shot down those rumors.

While the wheels may not be in motion for a Harris deal to the Cowboys, it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen later — such as before the trade deadline during the season. If the Steelers falter and the Cowboys continue to be a contender — with a weak running game — a deal would benefit both sides.

“A fourth-round pick is far from the No. 24 overall selection the Steelers used to land Harris, but it’s become clear he’s not a great fit in their offense,” Kay wrote. “A trade would benefit all sides, allowing Warren to take over Pittsburgh’s backfield and Harris to get a fresh start as the top option in Dallas’ platoon.”

Harris would provide the Cowboys a durable and consistent lead runner — something that they’re lacking with their current group.

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