The Dallas Cowboys failed to complete a trade for Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks at the deadline, but this is not stopping the team from continuing to be connected to the playmaker. With the NFL trade deadline passed, the Cowboys will have to wait until the offseason to complete any deals leaving free agency and the waiver wire as the lone options to improve their roster before the postseason.
Just in time for the holidays, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox has a few wishes outlining five hypothetical trades the analyst would love to happen prior to the NFL playoffs. Knox has the Cowboys paying a steep price (a 2023 second-round pick) in exchange for Cooks. This time around, the Texans would pay for a good portion of Cooks’ $18 million salary in 2023 under Knox’ dream trade idea.
“The Dallas Cowboys are sitting at 8-3 and are in a good position to make a run in the NFC postseason,” Knox wrote on November 28, 2022. “They’re also clearly interested in adding to their receiving corps ahead of the playoffs.
“…In this hypothetical scenario, the Texans agree to pay a large chunk of Cooks’ 2023 salary in exchange for a premium draft pick. The Texans add to their 2023 arsenal of draft picks—that may well include the first overall selection—while Cooks gets to go to a contender. Dallas, meanwhile, adds a savvy veteran receiver who posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns before this season.”
Cooks’ $18 Million Salary in 2023 Proved to Be the Dealbreaker for Cowboys
Cooks’ two-year, $39 million contract runs through the 2024 season and proved to be the sticking point in the Cowboys-Texans trade talks prior to the deadline. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that Houston’s reluctance to pay some of Cooks’ salary for 2023 proved to be the “dealbreaker” for Dallas.
“The Cowboys and Texans were discussing a deal to send WR Brandin Cooks to Dallas, per sources,” Breer tweeted on November 1. “And the sides were in the neighborhood on comp. Cooks’ $18 million guarantee for 2023 was the dealbreaker here.”
Dallas could have an opportunity to revisit trade talks for Cooks this offseason, but this would be unlikely if the team is able to land Odell Beckham Jr. on a multi-year deal. The Cowboys signed James Washington last offseason to compete to be the team’s WR3, but the former Steelers wideout has been sidelined all season with a fractured foot.
Will the NFL Push Back the NFL Trade Deadline?
The actual November 1st trade deadline occurred more than two months before the NFL playoffs begin making it challenging for contenders to truly assess their roster needs prior to the postseason. Knox believes the league would be better suited to push the deadline back in future years, something NFL teams have also pushed for this season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that with the trade deadline becoming more active in recent years, the league could discuss pushing the date back this offseason for future seasons.
“After the busiest trade deadline day in NFL history, some teams are interested in making it even busier,” Schefter detailed on November 6. “Multiple teams reached out to the NFL office this past week to inquire about pushing back the trade deadline from its current spot after Week 8 to after either Week 10 or Week 12, league sources told ESPN.
“The issue is expected to be raised at the at the NFL’s general manager committee meetings later this month, and then could be discussed further and presented to vote at the owners meetings in the spring, according to sources. Pushing back the trade deadline would be consistent with what the NFL has tried to accomplish with other recent moves.”