Dallas Cowboys: Does Amari Cooper Trade Increase Playoff Chances?

Getty Images Amari Cooper during his stint with the Oakland Raiders.

The Dallas Cowboys made their most significant move of the 2018-2019 season on Monday. Just less than 24 hours after their devastating loss to the Washington Redskins on the road, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a call to the Oakland Raiders. That’s when Jones decided to send the Cowboys 2019 first-round pick to Oakland, in return for the wide receiver, Amari Cooper.

Ever since the offseason, the Cowboys had an obvious need for a wide receiver. After they cut Dez Bryant and passed up on drafting one in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cowboys weren’t left with many weapons for Dak Prescott to throw too. Although they ended up acquiring Allen Hurns after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cowboys would soon find out that his lone 1,000 yards season might’ve been a fluke.

So, Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office had to move some assets for a new wideout. There was just simply no other way to do it. As the NFC East remains wide open to whichever team wants to separate themselves, the Cowboys are trying to seize the opportunity by making ‘win-now’ decisions. Now, the biggest question is, just how much better are the Cowboys now that they have a former first-round pick for Prescott to throw to?

Did Playoff Chances Increase?

The Cowboys are tied in second with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. They have a 3-4 record, sitting one game back from the Redskins. Playoffs are not out of the question for three of the four teams in the NFC East not named the New York Giants. The Cowboys have shown some promise over time, especially after their big win against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. But just how much better are their playoff chances with Cooper on board?

For the analytical people out there, you would be quite shocked to hear that the Cowboys’ have not had a major shift in playoff momentum with Cooper on board. Sportsline, the official analytical partner of CBS Sports, does not see much of a difference. It could be because of the Cowboys playcalling that has been exposed a ton of times this season. Or maybe the simple fact that Dak Prescott tends to struggle with confidence in his throwing.

Worst case scenario of all, maybe the Cowboys are just not getting a big-time player. Cooper entered the NFL by exceeding 1,000 yards in his first two seasons, but since then he hasn’t looked like a true number one. Last year, Cooper regressed and only posted 680 yards for seven touchdowns. This year, he wasn’t on pace to do much better. The Cowboys are hopeful that a new situation is all that he needs since they really paid a steep price for the wideout.