The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean they're satisfied. Today they worked out former first-round pick Jonathan Cooper, a player who was once thought to have huge potential, but has washed out with a few teams in his short career.
Copper was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 with the seventh-overall pick. After an injury-plagued stint in Arizona, he was shipped to the New England Patriots along with a second-round pick for Chandler Jones. The Patriots subsequently released him and the Cleveland Browns claimed him. He played a few games there but was released again.
Cooper was once a highly-prized prospect from the University of North Carolina. Scouts gushed about his ability as evidenced by his seventh-overall selection in the 2013 draft. He broke his leg in preseason in his first year, went on IR and never again played up to his abilities.
The Cowboys are expected to activate La’el Collins from IR for the playoffs, he’ll presumably be the backup to either Ron Leary or Zack Martin. The Cowboys also have Joe Looney in reserve. As Todd Archer notes, this move could be more about 2017.
As much as anything, the possible addition of Cooper could be about the 2017 regular season. Ronald Leary, who replaced Collins and has played extremely well, is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. With the Cowboys hoping to sign Zack Martin to a long-term deal this summer, they would not have enough room in the budget for Leary, who could command a big deal from another team.
Cooper could provide insurance for the Cowboys in 2017 behind Collins and Martin, just as Leary did this season.
Dallas is allowed four roster moves in the post-season.