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The race is on for the Cowboys and Amari Cooper against Michael Thomas and the New Orleans Saints

Will the Cowboys beat the clock with Amari Cooper’s extension?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Amari Cooper celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday. It’s kind of ridiculously insane how much he’s accomplished through just a quarter of a century.

Of course, much of Cooper’s accomplishments took place over the most recent year of his life. Heck, a year ago he was still a member of the Oakland Raiders during Jon Gruden’s first season in his second stint, everything (as in everything) still lay ahead of him.

Also lying ahead of Cooper these days is a gigantic payday. The wide receiver is on the fifth year of his rookie contract (the Raiders picked up his fifth-year option while he was still on the team) which means he’s about to get paid.

Cooper would get paid by any NFL team, but the fact that he completely changed the Dallas Cowboys offense last season and propelled them to postseason success seems to heighten his value within America’s Team. The Cowboys are well-versed in contract situations these days as they already negotiated DeMarcus Lawrence’s new deal and are in the middle of Dak Prescott’s extension this offseason, and don’t forget that players like Ezekiel Elliott, Byron Jones, and others are also looming.

There’s a pending contract across the league that could impact Cooper’s value

Speaking of looming, New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis made an appearance on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Monday, and he was asked about another top-flight wide receiver in the NFL (that is unless he’s playing against the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football if you know what I mean) in Michael Thomas.

According to Loomis, things are progressing in the right direction with Thomas. That’s good for them because the Cowboys held Thomas to five receptions for 40 yards last season (I’m done kidding, I promise!) but in reality because he’s a very good receiver.

Thomas getting paid would have a huge impact on the Cowboys because, well, Amari Cooper is waiting to get paid. Just like the Carson Wentz contract helped establish a new bar for Dak Prescott’s inevitable deal, if Michael Thomas agrees to a new contract before Amari Cooper does, you can bet your bottom dollar that the latter will be looking at the former’s new salary as a benchmark of sorts, too.

New Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leads the league in average annual value with over $18M per season (the rest of the game’s best all hover around $16M per season), but in a seller’s market it stands to reason that Thomas could eclipse that. It’s certainly possible at the very least.

We’re looking at somewhere in that neighborhood (although probably not that high because at the end of the day receivers are not quarterbacks) for Cooper and we know that the Cowboys are going to do it because they didn’t trade a first-round pick for him not to keep him around for the foreseeable future. It seems like Dak Prescott’s deal is the priority for now, but the team would be served well to try to get them both done as soon as possible.

So much money to spend, so little time to do it.

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