Front page writers weigh in on the Cowboys trade for Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys made a trade in hopes of adding a potential “wide receiver one” after admitting that their committee approach has been a failure up to this point. Amari Cooper is now a Dallas Cowboy. Did the Cowboys pay too much or is a first-round pick the price of business? Are the Cowboys a better team now with Cooper in the fold? There are a ton of opinions out there about this trade but we wanted to see what the front page writers here at BTB had to say.
The more I had time to reflect on the Amari Cooper trade the more I was okay with it. I’ve been very critical of this teams inability to use resources in the trade market and free agency. While this move does have some sense of desperation to it, the Cowboys front office finally was able to admit that it made a mistake and came out and attempted to fix it. Did they over pay? Probably so, but I can’t kill the front office for going all in to try and add a young, talented player, at a position of need with the division for the taking.
The good thing about this trade is the Cowboys, without a doubt, upgraded at a position that desperately needed it. Their hope is that Cooper is able to help them win enough games to take them out of the first half of the first-round and soften the blow just a little bit on their compensation.
I really like Amari Cooper as a receiver and believe he will be a nice asset for the offense. It’s hard not to be excited about what he’ll bring to this team. But I do not like this trade. I’m just not a fan of surrendering precious draft capital such as a Day 1 pick. And that feeling is exacerbated by the fact that Dallas had done a real good job collecting valuable pieces to their roster with their first-round investments.
Now, could Cooper be one of those valuable pieces? Maybe. The front office certainly believes so or else they wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on the deal. They are very stingy with their draft capital, so that should speak to how they feel about Cooper. Another thing that bothers me about the deal is the financials involved. The Cowboys will have Amari under contract next season for his fifth-year option price of $13 millon, but he’ll be a free agent in 2020. So will Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott (although Dallas will likely pick up Zeke’s fifth-year option as well). That’s a lot of money they’ll have to shell out very soon, whereas that first-round pick will be cap friendly for the next five years.
Amari Cooper may very well be a nice add, but he’s going to really have to ball out to make this a good deal for the Cowboys.
My opinion is that all the hot takes and instant analysis carry about as much weight as instant draft grades: none. There are sound, valid arguments for why this is a good move and equally sound arguments for why it’s a bad move. Reasonable people can disagree about this. Only time will tell us the truth – just like the a draft.
I do understand the decision-making. Specifically the team has to find out if Dak Prescott is the long-term answer at QB. The reality is prior to acquiring Amari Cooper the surrounding talent was so poor the team couldn’t make a legitimate evaluation of Prescott. Hopefully now they’ll be able to.
I think the Cowboys front office gets killed either way because people want them to go after big talents but think they can pay peanuts for it. For example, “why not toss out a fifth for Josh Gordon like the Patriots?” The answer is because Gordon is literally on his last leg in the NFL and the Cowboys are not tempting fate anymore with that nonsense. The Cowboys wanted Amari Cooper, a 24-year old receiver with NFL experience and numbers that suggest he can do it at a high-level.
Former trades of Cowboys past for Roy Williams or Joey Galloway have no bearing here because neither were the caliber of “WR1” potential that Cooper is. For example, the Cowboys went after Roy Williams, a receiver who’s injury history showed that he couldn’t separate any longer. Joey Galloway got hurt in his first season with the Cowboys and when he returned, he didn’t get Troy Aikman to be his quarterback as planned.
Like my colleague, Michael Strawn, I like the trade for the sure fact that it gives them a chance to evaluate Dak Prescott and these coaches too. Who knows if that means they will be able to do enough to earn a postseason berth but the Cowboys got better with this trade. Dave Halprin was on board with drafting Calvin Ridley before the 2018 draft, and I was on board for that or D.J. Moore because this offense needs a receiver that can make plays when his number is called. At the very least, the Cowboys got a guy that commands some respect around NFL circles, the hope now is that they can feed him the ball enough to keep defenses on their toes.
We can all weigh in on this, but the only thing that matters is what happens on the field. In a few games, and certainly by the end of the season, we will have some idea if this was a worthwhile trade. If Cooper helps the offense perform better, and maybe even make a run at getting into the playoffs, then it was worth it. If not, well, we’ll see how it affects the team in the next few years.
Meanwhile, there is a certain logic to this, if the reports that the Cowboys were locking in on a wide receiver in the first round next year are accurate. First round WRs have a notoriously high bust rate, whereas Cooper had two excellent seasons to start his career, and there is certainly reason to believe it was his situation and not him that was the primary cause of the dropoff last season and so far this year. In effect, the Cowboys just made their first selection of 2019, and got a 24 year old receiver with experience and talent. It all depends on if the scouting department got this right.
But again, we won’t know until we see him on the field, see if Dak can get him the ball, and if Linehan can utilize him well. We will start to find out something in a couple of weeks.
Looking at Amari Cooper’s body of work, he’s an excellent route runner and does several other things well that should help Dak Prescott out. He’s really good at creating separation early which should help Dak get the ball out quicker, and he’s willing to adjust to the throw to make sure he catches it, which bailed out Derek Carr many times and should help Dak too. Based on that, I like this trade.
I could end up loving this trade if Cooper is integrated into the offense properly and he fixes the passing game and takes us to the playoffs, which would seriously mitigate the loss of a 1st rounder. My only issue with the trade is I don’t trust Linehan to properly incorporate Cooper and that could be what ruins this, but as of now I like the trade and have hope for this team because of it.
I was shocked that the Cowboys made the move for Amari Cooper. I honestly thought it was a parody account when I first saw the tweet, because I was not expecting the front office to make such an aggressive move. It’s a good thing that they are smart enough to admit when they mistakes and know that something had to change with the offense. The bye week gave them a perfect opportunity to do just that.
While I really didn’t like giving up a first-round pick, I understand the logic between not being sold on the top-end talent at wide receiver in the upcoming draft class and with Philly also offering a second-round pick. (That would have been a gut-punch to the Cowboys had the Raiders dealt Cooper to their divisional rival.)
Cooper gives Dak a go-to threat to go along with the promising Michael Gallup and the reliable Cole Beasley. The move signified that the Cowboys know the NFC East is winnable while also showing confidence in their quarterback.