It’s rare that you see an NFL trade that involves one player being traded for another.
It’s not that it doesn’t happen, just that it doesn’t happen often.
And when it does, teams are usually shipping out one underachiever for another.
In an ESPN Insider piece, Field Yates jotted down five deals he thinks should happen.
And the Arizona Cardinals were a part of one of them.
Dallas Cowboys trade cornerback Morris Claiborne to the Arizona Cardinals for defensive tackle Dan Williams
Why it works for Arizona: Claiborne’s NFL struggles are hard to figure after he starred at LSU, but his natural abilities are still enticing. The team added depth in the secondary with Antonio Cromartie this offseason, but Claiborne would bring higher upside playing alongside former LSU teammates Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Peterson also happens to be a free agent next offseason, and while the Cardinals are angling to keep him around long term, a rejuvenated Claiborne would give them insurance in case Peterson ends up elsewhere.
Why it works for Dallas: Claiborne is the Cowboys’ third cornerback right now and has disappointed. The team has had better luck adding cornerbacks in free agency than through the draft and is desperate for big bodies along the defensive line. Williams has just one year left on his deal, but he presents an intriguing size and strength combination next to Henry Melton, a penetrating interior force. It may not be the most natural fit in what Dallas does defensively due to Williams’ lack of quickness, but his ability to clog space would provide an upgrade against the run.
Claiborne was the sixth pick in the 2012 draft, but has been a disappointment in the Dallas secondary. In two seasons he has recorded just two interceptions and generally failed to make a significant impact.
But adding him out of fear of losing Peterson seems a bit silly right now, especially since by all accounts the team plans on keeping their Pro Bowl cornerback around for a while.
As for Williams, the former first-round pick has had his ups and downs as a Cardinal, but seemed to turn a corner last season when he tallied 23 tackles along with his first career sack.