The headline that Jerry has wanted is finally here. Jones and company have decided to pull the trigger on bringing in the 24 year old wide receiver from the Oakland Raiders. Cooper is a former first round top five pick and two time 1,000 yard receiver. He’s currently in his 4th season in the NFL and has regressed tremendously compared to his first two years in the league.
Dallas is giving up a 1st round pick for Amari Cooper. This will be a 2019 first rounder and could be critical in the Raiders rebuild. Oakland has now traded two former cornerstones in Cooper and Khalil Mack. Both moves will help the Raiders accumulate 2 first round picks to go with their very own. Dallas on the other hand is going against a strategy that they have implemented over the decade.
Amari wants elite wide receiver money. Currently though he’s playing through a rookie contract with an option for a 5th year. The option was exercised by the Raiders and gives Cooper an injury-guaranteed salary of $13.924 million for 2019. Dallas would need to get this deal reworked for sure if they decide on keeping Cooper.
If it isn’t obvious to you now it should be. The Oakland Raiders are rebuilding. Jon Gruden is putting his stamp on the franchise for better or worse. He’s accumulated 3 first round picks for the 2019 season. Ironically the Raiders pick looks to be the highest out of the collection so far. Unfortunately for David Carr, he’s going to be losing an important piece of the offense. This could allow for a better flow to the offense, but we know the Raiders are preparing for Vegas.
The coveted number one receiver is finally in Dallas. After Witten and Bryant left (on whatever terms), the Cowboys have been bleeding at the pass catching position(s). Bringing Cooper gives you the following on paper: Cooper, Hurns, Beasley, Gallup, Austin, and Butler. This looks to be an average group with the addition of Amari, but is it enough? Probably not, especially when the team has issues on the offensive line.
This is a pure Jerry move. After the loss against the Redskins you knew he wanted to do something. Jerry wanted to make a splash and make a move that could salvage the season. Personally he has given up too much for Cooper. Statistically speaking Cooper has gone from good to horrible. Below are his statistics up to Week 7 of the 2018 NFL season:
The numbers do not lie. Coopers targets have dropped drastically over the past few years. He’s on pace to hit the following: 59 receptions, 747 yards, and about 3 touchdowns. I’m not sure those numbers are worth a first rounder let alone a 2nd rounder. I believe the Cowboys are giving up too much for a guy who isn’t a sure fire guarantee to be on the team. Why? Guess what Bryant’s number were his final year on the team. 69 receptions, 838 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Are the numbers pretty darn similar? Yep, and that is scary.
Personally I do not like the move. Dallas is giving up too much. I consider this Jerry’s wide receiver trade 3.0. What was 1.0? Joey Galloway. Wait, what about 2.0? Roy Williams (Yeah, remember him?). What did Jerry give up in those deals? Well for Galloway the Cowboys gave 2 first round picks. For Roy Williams the Cowboys gave up a 1 first rounder but also a couple of other picks. This time Jerry decided to minimize the damage but he doesn’t seem like he’s completely learned his lesson. Galloway was brought to save a dying dynasty. Roy Williams was brought in to be the number one guy after Terrell Owens was on his way out. Amari Cooper is the guy who is coming in after Dez Bryant is the guy who JUST left.
Another issue I have with this deal is that the receiving corps isn’t as bad as it seems. Prescott’s line struggled as has he. A wide receiver isn’t going to fix that issue. What would fix the issue is bringing in some new coaching which isn’t going to happen midway through the season. Also bringing in some linemen who are good or better than Williams and Collins. Also, working on Prescott’s mechanics would be helpful. Those are the keys to bettering this team. Dallas doesn’t have the “guy” at wide receiver but they also don’t have the “guy” at quarterback as of yet. Invest in Prescott if you may, but you also want to develop your asset and this hasn’t happened.
Is there some validity to the move? You could say there is some validity. Pairing Cooper with the young Prescott and Elliott could give Dallas the trio it has been thirsty to have since the triplets. But as we all know, history repeats itself. Roy Williams was that piece for the 2009 Cowboys. A 28 year old Romo and 25 year old Marion Barber needed that receiver to be a core piece with them. Williams was 27 at the time and was seen as that piece in Jerry’s eyes. Here we are again this time in 2018 and 25 year old Dak Prescott, and 23 year old Ezekiel Elliott need a wide receiver…. I get the move but it’s not the right move for this Cowboys team.