The Dallas Cowboys are among the top teams in the NFC, but the franchise’s success is happening in spite of the offense making Big D an intriguing potential trade suitor ahead of the November 1 deadline. Through the first six games, the Cowboys are averaging 18.3 points per contest which is 23rd among NFL teams.
With Dak Prescott returning to the field, Dallas may be wise to add another offensive weapon given the team’s Super Bowl aspirations. With the Texans’ front office changeover, the Cowboys may have a chance to make a run at speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox labeled Cooks among the top players who are potential trade candidates.
“Let’s be honest: The Houston Texans aren’t likely to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks,” Knox wrote on October 17, 2022. “Houston gave Cooks a two-year, $39.8 million extension in the offseason and made it clear that he’s a piece of the long-term puzzle.
“‘The productive Cooks is the kind of player the Texans want to build around, not trade. Don’t expect him to be available,’ NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport wrote at last year’s deadline.
“However, the 29-year-old isn’t winning a championship with the 1-3-1 Texans this season. He’s been quite productive (24 catches, 235 yards, 1 TD), but he isn’t racking up wins. Hypothetically, he might do just that with the Green Bay Packers.”
What would a trade for Cooks cost the Cowboys? The Rams received a second-round selection from the Texans for Cooks and a fourth-round pick in a 2020 trade. It is hard to imagine Cooks commanding more in a possible deal two years later, and the Cowboys could likely land the playmaker for a future mid-round pick.
Cooks Has Had 2 Straight Seasons With More Than 1,000 Receiving Yards
Cooks is coming off two straight seasons topping 1,000 receiving yards with a combined 2,187 yards and 12 touchdowns. The veteran wideout has 24 receptions for 235 yards and a touchdown during five appearances with the Texans this season.
Why would the Cowboys trade for Cooks when they moved Amari Cooper’s contract last offseason? The Cowboys front office continues to emphasize that it was Cooper’s production compared to his salary that prompted the trade, not just the financial components to his deal. Cooks has a team-friendly $1.1 million salary for 2022.
The Texans receiver’s salary jumps up to $18 million and $13 million over the next two seasons as part of his two-year, $39.7 million contract extension he signed with Houston. Cooks’ deal gives his team a potential out after the 2023 season, but the franchise would take an $8.1 million dead cap hit if the receiver is released.
Do the Cowboys Need an Upgrade at WR3?
Amid plenty of wide receiver trade rumors, some Cowboys fans have astutely pointed out that Noah Brown has emerged as a consistent WR3 threat for Dallas alongside CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Brown has 20 catches for 289 yards and one touchdown in six games so far in 2022. The Dallas offense will also receive a boost just by the mere return of Prescott as the team could look to be a bit more aggressive than the game plan utilized for Cooper Rush.
Yet, Dallas finds itself in a challenging NFC East which has emerged as arguably the toughest division in the NFL. The Cowboys would be wise to explore all available roster upgrades at the trade deadline, and the offense appears to be, by far, the team’s weakest unit with the way the defense is performing to start the season.