It seems like just a matter of when the Dallas Cowboys are going to release wide receiver Amari Cooper. Considering that the new league year begins next Wednesday, we all need to be on guard for the “likely” possibility.
The Cowboys are seemingly on the precipice of cutting not just their top wide receiver in Cooper, but possibly one their their top pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence (he reportedly denied their request to trim his salary.) Hoping the 2022 version of America’s Team is supposed to be better than 2021’s appears to be undercut by these moves.
What also is strange about how the Cowboys are operating is that the plight they are in could have been avoided with a little bit of foresight. Dallas is behind the proverbial eight ball as far as their salary cap is concerned due to in inability to be forward-thinking with contracts like Dak Prescott and DeMarcus Lawrence. When you combine that with mistakes they made like the deals they gave Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith, you wind up in the situation that they are now. They are scrambling to keep players like Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, and Randy Gregory to help ease the would-be losses of Cooper and Lawrence, although all three of those players could have been extended a year ago if there was some forward-thinking involved.
The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly not yet given Amari Cooper permission to seek a trade
Some fans are still giving the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt, hoping the moves pan out in the end. Having that much hope is impressive, but it feels impractical. Believing the Cowboys are trying to make lemonade out of some lemon and that releasing Amari Cooper and/or DeMarcus Lawrence is a part of that is fine. I personally disagree with it, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
If Dallas truly does want out of Cooper’s deal, then the common sense argument would be to trade him and acquire something - anything - for him. That is better than cutting him and acquiring nothing.
While it remains unlikely that anyone would trade for Cooper for a variety of reasons (this year has a deep rookie class, Amari’s contract, etc.) ultimately if it is going to happen, then the wheels have to be set in motion for it to happen.
So it is confusing that according to ESPN, the Cowboys have yet to grant Cooper permission to seek a trade:
A trade remains an option, although the Cowboys have not yet given him permission to seek a trade. But why would a team give up a pick when it knows it can get Cooper in a few weeks if he is cut without forking over a pick? A pay reduction is a possibility but, again, seems unlikely. Cooper enjoys playing in Dallas. He said on 105.3 The Fan that he wants “to be a Dallas Cowboy for life.” He knows he has a good situation. How much would he be willing to give up to remain a Cowboy?
The bet: Cooper is released.
What possible reason could there be for this? If the Cowboys are determined to move on from Cooper, then why are they not exploring every avenue towards recouping some sort of value for him, including allowing him to do the work for them? It is difficult to logically explain why they would have yet to grant him permission to do so. By trading him the Cowboys could at least have some sort of influence on where he winds up as opposed to allowing him to fully and freely choose, potentially landing with a team they play and hurting them later on down the road.
Nothing about the way that Cowboys are operating here makes any sort of sense, a topic our own Danny Phantom touched on recently here at BTB. The constant feet-dragging shown by the front office is what has gotten them into this mess (along with a variety of other factors) and it appears that they have in no way learned their lesson.
Will they ever?