The first developments of the offseason are starting to come to fruition for the Dallas Cowboys, and now Antonio Brown is adding himself to the mix.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver is currently a free agent, unceremoniously leaving the Buccaneers after causing a scene mid-game during the team’s 28-24 win over the New York Jets in Week 17.
Brown’s had no shortage of off-field drama since he’s entered the NFL, with issues leading to the 33-year-old being on three different teams in the years since he left the Steelers after the 2018 season. However, there’s no question that his talent is still present even on the wrong side of 30.
Now, the receiver is turning his attention to the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones. In an interview on The Pivot podcast, Brown name drops the Cowboys when talking about the offseason work he’s been putting in.
“The plan is to get back into the game in a position that no one has ever been,” Brown said. “Maybe Jerry Jones thinks it looks sexy that I’m putting out this motivation and all this hard work and encouragement, maybe he wants to harness some of that energy.”
Brown is referencing his social media brand and other career efforts besides football. Considering the Cowboys are potentially losing one or both of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup this offseason, Brown is an option. Although, how legitimate he is as an addition is up for debate.
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Brown’s Production During Tumultuous Years
The aforementioned off-field issues and injury has severely interfered with the former Central Michigan standout’s production. In the past three seasons, Brown has only appeared in 16 of a possible 49 regular season games.
While his volume-based statistics have obviously decreased with missed playing time, his rate of production per catch has also decreased, PFR shows. His 11.9 yards per catch in the past 16 games is a tick down from the 13.4 yards per catch he averaged in nine seasons in Pittsburgh.
Brown does have nine touchdowns in that 16-game span, but that is still at a lower rate (56%) than his 74 touchdowns in 103 games as a Steeler (72%).
Essentially, his production has dipped but is still registering at a high level. The problem with Brown isn’t his ability, it’s his mentality and magnetism for drama. The Cowboys have had success with those types of personalities before though.
Gallup Sends Message to Cooper
While Brown sends his message to Jones and the Cowboys, Gallup spoke out on the possible departure of Cooper. Speculation of both players leaving Dallas by trade or free agency has been constant since the end of the 2021 season, but Gallup can’t imagine a Cowboys team without Cooper.
Speaking to Heavy’s Jonathan Adams, the 26-year-old receiver explained that Cooper has brought an immense impact to the Cowboys’ receiving group.
“Since I’ve been a part of the Cowboys, I can’t [imagine Dallas without Cooper],” Gallup said. “He’s a phenomenal player. He helps all the young kids. He helped me when I came in. He’s always helping CeeDee [Lamb] out, so. He’s the leader in that group. So, I don’t really see him going anywhere anytime soon.”
Gallup may not see it happening, but the current status of Cooper’s future in Dallas can only be described as “up in the air.”