By DaVince “Dino” Wright
Last week Dallas was slated to release wide receiver Amari Cooper, but a trade was made pending his physical to the Cleveland Browns. Dallas got Amari Cooper from the Raiders three years ago and gave up a first-round draft pick to get him. The season before acquiring Amari, Dallas didn’t have a number 1 receiver and drifted through the season with short passes. Last season, Cooper had 68 receptions for 865 yards and 8 touchdowns averaging 12.7 yards per reception. Quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t the same quarterback without Amari on the outside. In the nine games without Cooper, Prescott was 3-6 with 20 points per game, completion percentage of 63.5%, 222 passing yards per game and a passer rating of 86.1%. Prescott seemed lost during those games. The games with Cooper on the outside, Dak looked sharper, and his numbers were stronger. His record with Amari Cooper was 28-16, 28.7 points per game while Dak averaged 297.4 yards per game. I’m not sure if Jerry Jones or his “analytics team” understood the potential fall back for this decision. All the man needed was the ball! Remember Dallas signed Amari Cooper to a five-year, $100 million dollar contract in 2020, it was effectively a two-year deal worth $40 million with his 2021 base salary of $20 million not becoming fully guaranteed until March 20.
The Trade Effect
Dallas sends Amari Cooper and their 6th round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2022 fifth round and their 6th round pick. The deal is pending a physical and should be finalized by the middle of the upcoming week. Amari’s three years in Dallas changed the landscape of Dallas’ receiving corps. He had (428) targets that landed him in 8th place in the NFL during that time. He recorded (292) reception that put him in the 7th spot in the NFL, (3,893) receiving yards and ninth in receiving touchdowns with 27. The team will truly miss his productivity on the outside. Acquiring Amari has allowed the Browns receiver Jarvis Landry to test the market. Last season Jarvis Landry led the Browns in receiving and reception yards. The Cowboys receivers will be led by CeeDee Lamb who will move into the number 1 slot and Dallas has re-signed Michael Gallop who’s coming back from injury last season to a 5-Year, $62.5M contract. Dallas needs a number 1 receiver because the guys on the roster can’t, won’t and didn’t take care of the ball in the clutch this season. Dallas had 108 dropped passes that killed drives in the 3rd and 4th quarters this season.
Dallas is giving right tackle La’el Collins permission to seek a trade. Last season the offensive line struggled with protecting Dak in the pocket and opening running lanes for Zeke Elliott. Dallas placed the franchise tag on tight end Dalton Shultz. Dallas has released place kicker Greg Zuerline and tight end Blake Jarwin. Look for the Cowboys to make more moves this offseason.
By DaVince “Dino” Wright