We officially live in a world where the Dallas Cowboys are void of Amari Cooper. The Cowboys traded Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick on Saturday. There was also a swap of sixth-round picks between the clubs which is sort of negligible as the true “prize” for Dallas was a fifth-round pick.
As predictable as this move became over the last few weeks, it is still difficult to know exactly where Dallas will go from here. There are a few things that they need to do (our own Danny Phantom laid out three right here), but is what they just did something that they should be congratulated or vilified for?
Grades are in from the Amari Cooper trade and they are all over the place.
Blogging The Boys: C and F (tie)
Why not start with the best? The loyal people of Blogging The Boys!
At the bottom of our post with the Cooper news we included a poll and asked you to grade the trade. The results from that are in and people do not like this trade!
As you can see options C and F were tied for the highest percentage of votes although D was right on their tails meaning that a majority of people found this to be an average move at best for the team.
Welcome to the land of positivity! The folks at the worldwide leader gave the Cowboys an almost-perfect grade for the Amari Cooper trade and interestingly gave the Cleveland Browns a C for their half of the deal.
That the Cowboys found anyone to take on Cooper’s contract seems to be the genesis behind how ESPN graded Dallas.
It has been widely known for a while that the Cowboys planned to move on from Cooper rather than pay him $20 million this season. In similar situations, teams usually wind up releasing the player for no compensation. So the Cowboys get a nod here for getting something in return for a receiver who needed to go.
The deal also freed up $16 million in salary-cap space for the Cowboys, but it left them with a decidedly uncertain set of pass-catchers for quarterback Dak Prescott. Receivers Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson are pending free agents and tight end Blake Jarwin was released because of a hip injury. It will be time for CeeDee Lamb to hold down the role of a No. 1 receiver on his own, and he’ll get help from tight end Dalton Schultz, who received the franchise tag. Overall, though, the Cowboys did a pretty good job of minimizing the damage of Cooper’s departure.
It is strange to say “this team purposefully wanted to make their team worse and accomplished that so they deserve credit for achieving their goal” but that is kind of how this grade came together. Obviously it wasn’t that explicit or dramatic, but the only way you can compliment the Cowboys here is by saying that they did something that they wanted to do, however difficult what they wanted to do was.
The Athletic: C-
As much as the Cowboys accomplished the fallout from their decision is still a reality meaning that they now have to be a professional football team without Amari Cooper. That presents challenges and is why many people were hesitant about the idea from the jump.
It seems that this is how The Athletic chose to grade the Cowboys, although they did offer up the idea that Dallas may know something that the general public does not.
It’s important to remember in situations like this that the team has more information than we do. And Cooper has now been traded twice in five years despite being a productive player. If the Cowboys just didn’t like how he fit and wanted to move on, then that’s fine. It’s also possible that they’ll make a shrewd move to add another wide receiver at a lower cost.
But as we sit right now, the bottom line is they’re a worse offense and a worse team than they were before the trade. Offensive efficiency is king, and that’s going to be tougher to achieve without Cooper. They are an easier team to defend without him than they were with him.
It’d be one thing if the Cowboys got significant draft capital for Cooper, but that’s not the case here. They got a fifth-rounder and a pick swap in the sixth. I understand why the Cowboys did the deal, but the compensation here wouldn’t have been enough for me to move on from Cooper.
The most important part of this write-up is the second/middle paragraph. When the Cowboys woke up on Sunday they were a worse football team than when they woke up on Saturday.