Trade Grade: Dallas Cowboys Trade Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns

Image Credit: (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

The NFL Free Agency period is not officially starting until March 16 and there has already been 3 trades that have occurred this past week. Two at the quarterback position (Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz) and one at the DE/EDGE Rusher position (Khalil Mack). Now we got another trade between the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns involving Amari Cooper.

Cleveland Browns Acquire: WR Amari Cooper and 2022 6th Round Pick
Dallas Cowboys Acquire: 2022 5th Round pick and 2022 6th Round Pick

Cleveland Browns Side

The Browns were clearly missing something on offense once the team decided to cut Odell Beckham Jr. So it makes sense why the Browns decided to acquire Amari Cooper as they needed to get a #1 receiver on this team for Baker Mayfield to throw the ball too. I have a few problems with this deal. First off, just looking at his contract all I have to say is… Yikes. For three years (2022-2024), he has 20 million dollars in a base salary and 20 million dollar cap hit. That is a lot of money and if he regresses or gets injured a lot, then it will be hard for the Browns to get out of his contract. Another issue is that Cooper is not the most consistent player as one week he has a fantastic week and other weeks he pulls a magic trick by disappearing. A third and final issue is that Cooper could be a locker room distraction. Especially after what happened with him and Dak Prescott after the 49ers game in the playoffs (We will get to that).

Dallas Cowboys Side

Many were shocked that the Cowboys were moving on from Amari Cooper. I was not one of them and the signs were there. I new something was up after the 49ers game in the playoffs as it is rumored both Prescott and Cooper got into a heated argument at the end of the game. So it was clear that the relationship was broken there and something had to change. Plus, Dallas wants to get above the salary cap and it shows with the Cowboys cutting Greg Zuerlein, TE Blake Jarwin, WR Robert Foster, etc. Trading Cooper clears 16 million dollars in cap space for the offseason.

With Amari/Dak relationship being broken and the salary cap restructuring that the Cowboys have been doing, they needed to part ways with Cooper. Cowboys fans should be thanking Cleveland for this trade as it looked like Dallas was going to cut Amari. The Cowboys at least got some value for a player they were going to get rid of no matter what which is a big plus.

On a side note, this may not be the last move the Dallas Cowboys will be making to get more cap space. News came out that the Cowboys were putting OT La’el Collins on the trading block, since he is going to be making 15.25 million dollars in the next season. I won’t be surprised if Collins is not a Dallas Cowboy next season. My question is can they cut or trade head coach Mike McCarthy? Coaching is the biggest problem with this team.

Grades for Amari Cooper Trade
Cleveland Browns: B-
Dallas Cowboys: A

Not a bad trade for both teams but I am clearly giving the win here for the Cowboys. They got out of a bad contract, a broken relationship between Dak and Amari, and got value for a player they were going to be cutting. The Browns fill a big need and did not sacrifice too much draft capital to acquire Amari Cooper. But there is plenty of risks in getting Cooper, which lowered the grade for the Cleveland Browns. Overall good move by both Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry and Dallas Cowboys GM/Owner Jerry Jones.

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