This has been an interesting week for the Dallas Cowboys even with no game on the schedule. When your bye week falls during the week of the trade deadline, sometimes that is how things go.
Tuesday was the deadline for teams to make trades across the NFL and we really did see a flurry of activity. Would-be contenders like the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings all made trades to better their roster. Interestingly so did the Cowboys by acquiring Johnathan Hankins, but that seems to get forgotten when this conversation is had nationally.
Much attention surrounded one name for the Cowboys and it happens to be a receiver who they did not trade for, Brandin Cooks of the Houston Texans. Dallas reportedly had talks with their in-state little brothers but obviously nothing came to fruition. A few days have now passed and the reported price that Houston wanted teams to meet has become known and the Cowboys were very wise to say no.
The reported price for Brandin Cooks was ridiculous and the Cowboys were wise to say no
A lot has been made about the $18M in guaranteed money for next season that is tied to Brandin Cooks and how that was a hurdle in trade discussions between the Texans and interested teams. This is particularly interesting given that they negotiated an extension with Cooks back in the offseason so they knew this would be an impediment, but facts and evidence or whatever.
It is never easy to get an NFL team to take on a contract of that stature, but it is more difficult when you are asking for some premium capital in addition to that. According to ESPN the Texans wanted teams to absorb the $18M as well as a second- and fourth-round pick.
One of the main reasons Houston was unable to trade WR Brandin Cooks was because it wanted second- and fourth-round picks in return for him, per sources. No team was willing to trade a 2 and 4, and assume Cooks’ $18 million fully guaranteed money for next season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 3, 2022
Simply put, this is pretty unreasonable from the Texans. There is no doubt that Cooks could help the Cowboys or another team (the Los Angeles Rams, shocker here, were also reportedly interested), but he is not enough of a game-changing player to warrant that type of investment.
The Cowboys still have James Washington returning from injury at some point and likely feel confident enough in him to have not made any other sort of move. Again, Brandin Cooks would have been a nice addition, but that type of draft capital is fairly precious. Consider that the Cowboys took Sam Williams with their second-round pick this past draft and Jake Ferguson with their fourth-round selection. This isn’t apples to apples by any means but would you give those players up and take on $18M in 2023 for Brandin Cooks?
The answer is probably not. Good on the Cowboys for passing here.