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Cowboys trade first-round pick for Amari Cooper

Lol Dallas

Green Bay Packers v Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Amari Cooper is headed to the NFC East, but not to join the Philadelphia Eagles. The Dallas Cowboys traded a first-round pick (!) to Oakland in exchange for the Raiders wide receiver, as originally reported by ESPN.

A first-round pick is a steep price to pay for a player who has underachieved with the Raiders.

Cooper’s talent is intriguing, sure. He was the No. 4 overall pick in 2015 NFL Draft for a reason. He’s also still only 24 years old, so there’s some merit to the idea he has upside. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good.

Or maybe this is the Roy Williams trade all over again for the Cowboys. Cooper had the fifth worst drop rate in 2015 and the eighth worst in 2017. After a 1,153 yard season in 2016, Cooper took a big step back last year.

And though this move likely improves Dallas in the short-term, there are long-term implications to consider here. Cooper has a $13.9 million cap figure in 2019 as a result of his fifth-year option. That figure is fully guaranteed if he’s on the Cowboys’ roster on the first day of the league year. Then he’s set to be a free agent in 2020.

The first-round pick that the Cowboys gave up has the potential to be in the teens this year. Dallas currently sits at 3-4. They’re a couple games back on a 4-2 division-leading Washington team that just defeated them and thus owns a head-to-head tie-breaker (for now, at least).

It doesn’t seem likely that Cooper is suddenly going to save the Cowboys’ season. They’re trading a very valuable future asset that could help them down the road in order to try to win now. In the long-run, the Eagles won’t mind seeing the Cowboys make that short-sighted sacrifice.

In the short-term, Philadelphia will now have to face Cooper twice this season: once in Week 10 and then again in Week 14. Cooper did burn Jalen Mills on a double move when the Eagles and Raiders played on Christmas last season.

Jon Gruden, meanwhile, burned Jerry Jones in this trade.


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