All Cowboys fans know the lay of the land by now. The organization is absolutely not letting Dak Prescott go anywhere, and if a long-term, or short-term deal, deal can’t be worked out, he will be tagged with the exclusive franchise tag. They have also let it be known that cornerback Byron Jones will be allowed to test the free agency waters, and with a player of his caliber, that usually means he won’t be returning. Then there’s Amari Cooper.
Sitting in the middle of those two is Cooper, who the Cowboys desperately want to keep, but with a possible new CBA wiping out the ability for the Cowboys to tag him with a transition tag while simultaneously tagging Prescott, they’ll need to hammer out a deal.
The team wants to prevent Cooper from hitting the open market where he will definitely draw all kinds of interests and a bidding war could get out of control. There is a tiny bit of good news on the Cooper front as reported by ESPN.
The Cowboys also are working on an extension with wide receiver Amari Cooper, and sources say they’ve been encouraged by the state of those talks in recent weeks. If no new collective bargaining agreement is in place by the start of the league year, teams would be allowed to use the franchise tag and the transition tag this year, and in that case Cooper would be a strong candidate for the transition tag if they can’t do an extension with him in time.
Obviously we shouldn’t read too much into it, but the use of the word “encouraged” by sources close to the talks is a positive sign. We haven’t heard anything like that in regards to the Prescott talks where things seem to be at a little bit of a standstill.
After the Cowboys spent a first-round draft choice on Cooper just over a year and a half ago, they will certainly want to keep him in the fold. New head coach Mike McCarthy has affirmed his goal to keep Cooper, as any sane coach would.
The fate of the new CBA has to likely be settled before anything can happen here, and with that the Cowboys will know their options for tagging players. Still, it’s encouraging that the Cooper talks are being described as encouraging.