The Dallas Cowboys did some good things this offseason. Trading away Amari Cooper and only netting a fifth-round pick was not one of them.
Even coming off a down year, getting rid of the former Pro Bowler for that little of a return was a questionable move. During his three and a half years as a Cowboy, Cooper was clearly Dallas’ top receiving threat. The 27-year-old racked up 292 catches for an impressive 3,893 yards and 27 receiving touchdowns during his time in Dallas.
After seeing what other teams have been able to get in return for their star wideouts, like the A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Marquise Brown deals, it’s puzzling the Cowboys could only net essentially a fifth-round pick.
As expected, the outside reception to the Cooper deal was not good. In fact, the move was named one of the “seven worst moves of the offseason” in a recent article by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report.
Here’s what Knox had to say about the puzzling trade.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported March 4 that the Cowboys would release Cooper if a trade wasn’t reached. By letting the football world know Cooper wasn’t wanted, Dallas robbed itself of any trade leverage. It only got a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-rounders from the Cleveland Browns for the four-time Pro Bowler.
To say Dallas underestimated the receiver market would be an understatement. The Green Bay Packers netted first- and second-round picks for Davante Adams. The Kansas City Chiefs got a first- and second-round 2022 pick, two fourth-round selections and a 2023 sixth-round pick for Tyreek Hill. On the draft’s opening night, the Tennessee Titans got the 18th pick and a third-rounder for A.J. Brown, while the Baltimore Ravens got the 23rd pick for Marquise Brown and a third-rounder. Had Dallas waited to move Cooper—or at least not allowed teams to know he was unwanted—it should have at least gotten a Day 2 selection.
This was a horrible series of decisions by the Cowboys, who got nowhere near adequate value for the talent they lost.
Even after bringing back Michael Gallup, and adding James Washington and Jalen Tolbert to their receiving corps, the Cowboys are still worse today at the receiver position than they were one year ago.
It’s not like Dallas spent big in free agency with the money saved by trading Cooper, so they simply could have let Gallup walk, kept Cooper and still added a young wideout in the draft.
The Amari Cooper trade might go down as one of the most puzzling moves in Cowboys’ history. The Cowboys better hope their new additions at the receiver position can replicate Cooper’s production because if not, this move could haunt them for years to come.