The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones made one of the biggest moves of the offseason when the team traded Amari Cooper.
The 27-year-old receiver had spent the better part of the past four seasons as a Cowboy, totaling 3893 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns in his 56 appearances for Dallas. With two Pro Bowl nods in his half-season in 2018 and his first full season in 2019, acquiring Cooper from the Oakland Raiders was immediately worth it.
However, the addition of CeeDee Lamb and the rise of Michael Gallup gave the Cowboys a burden of riches at the wide receiver position. Those factors compounded with Cooper’s contract paying him $20 million in 2022 led to the Cowboys making the decision to trade him to the Cleveland Browns.
Now, Cooper is a Brown after the Cowboys packaged a sixth-round pick with the WR to get fifth-round and sixth-round selections in return. It was a tough decision, but the right one.
At least, that’s how Jones views it. The 79-year-old franchise owner spoke to local media on March 28, and was asked about how the Cooper trade went down.
“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on not returning WR Amari Cooper, who was due a $20M salary with $22M cap hit unless team restructured him: ‘We made a decision that that allocation should be better spent.'” Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken shared.
But that wasn’t all Jones had to say about Cooper, and also had comments on other areas of note on the Dallas roster.
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Jones Talks About Trade Return from Browns
When Cooper was traded to Cleveland, his profile and consistent success in the NFL prompted a wide variety of potential return. After all, the Cowboys traded a first-round pick for the former Alabama Crimson Tide star in 2018.
Instead, the Cowboys basically got a fifth-round pick out of the Cooper trade. From Jones’ perspective, his franchise’s front office did everything they can to get an appropriate return from the Browns and other interested teams.
“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on trade compensation for WR Amari Cooper: ‘We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade.'” Gehlken Tweeted.
From the outside perspective, Cooper’s large contract ended up being a problem in terms of moving the player. As Spotrac shows, the Browns immediately restructured the receiver’s contract after trading for him, which puts into perspective how NFL teams viewed his pay this year.
Cowboys Owner Speaks on Gallup
Besides Cooper, Jones also addressed the current status of Gallup. The 26-year-old receiver tore his ACL last season, and the completion date of his recovery is not set in stone.
Jones didn’t have much detail to offer in terms of when the former Colorado State star could return from surgery, but did say he has an optimistic expectation.
“Optimistically, I expect him to give us a question mark around the first game,” Jones said per Gehlken’s Tweet. “And I see a conversation that says conservatively, you would like to have a couple more games to get him out there.”
Dallas certainly doesn’t want to rush him back after an injury like that, but the team also just gave him a five-year, $57 million contract. Gallup is only a $4.5 million cap hit in 2022, but his money is being paid out one way or another with $27 million guaranteed according to Spotrac.