Proposed Trade Has Cowboys Dealing 4-Time Pro Bowler to AFC Foe

Jerry Jones

Getty The Cowboys rumors continue this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys face a difficult decision on Amari Cooper’s future with the franchise. The Cowboys could release Cooper this offseason thanks to an out in his $100 million contract that would allow the team to save significant money.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine believes the Cowboys may have an opportunity to trade Cooper rather than release the star playmaker. This would allow the Cowboys to get something in return for Cooper rather than cutting the receiver with nothing to gain aside from cap space.

“The Cleveland Browns are in for a shakeup at the receiver position this offseason,” Ballentine detailed on February 19. “Regardless of whether Baker Mayfield is the long-term answer at quarterback, general manager Andrew Berry has to make Cleveland a place where a quarterback can thrive.

“That shakeup likely includes parting ways with wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The Browns could save nearly $15 million by releasing or trading him. They could also use that newfound cap flexibility and some draft picks to acquire a true No. 1 receiver.

“Amari Cooper stands out as a potential fit. The Dallas Cowboys have some choices of their own to make, as they are $21.1 million over the cap to start the offseason. Trading Cooper would help them clear $16 million.”

ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Cowboys!

Could the Cowboys Choose Gallup Over Cooper?

One plausible scenario is the Cowboys opting to re-sign free agent receiver Michael Gallup while moving on from Cooper. Gallup is projected to land a two-year, $25 million deal, per Pro Football Focus. The wideout will likely be a more affordable option for the Cowboys to consider as they weigh Cooper’s future with the team.

During an exclusive February 9 interview with Heavy, Gallup admitted he is hopeful that he can remain with the Cowboys but added there has been little communication with the franchise about his future.

“Well, I know the Cowboys enjoy me being on their team, so,” Gallup explained. “Honestly, they haven’t really said a whole lot to me [about future]. I just have that feeling that they might work with me on it, they might work with me on it. So, we’ll see how it goes.”

What Could the Cowboys Land in a Trade for Cooper?

What could the Cowboys expect in return for Cooper? The most Dallas could land is likely a mid-round draft pick, but even that may be difficult to find.

The challenge for the Cowboys in securing a trade partner for Cooper is opposing teams also know that the front office is considering releasing the receiver. Cooper’s deal runs through 2024 and pays him $20 million annually. NFL teams have had success drafting receivers and playing them right away as they take advantage of their affordable rookie contracts. The Browns and other teams would likely prefer to sign Cooper to a more team-friendly deal.

‘Things Are Heading’ Towards Cooper Being a Cap Casualty: Report

Speculation about the Cowboys ultimately releasing Cooper increased after Dallas 105.3 the Fan’s Bobby Belt reported on February 4 that “things are heading” towards the veteran being a cap casualty. When asked about Cooper, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones did not sound confident about the wideout coming back next season.

“Well, it’s sometimes not all on the receiver, too,” Jones told reporters at the Senior Bowl on February 2. “It’s scheme, it’s getting the receiver the ball, the touches, the targets that he needs. But if you’re gonna pay somebody a lot of money, you want them to be the best at what they do.

“Whether that’s catching, whether that’s yards, whether that’s receptions, whether that’s touchdowns. Whether that’s throwing touchdown passes, winning football games, if you’re a quarterback. Whether it’s a running back, if you’re getting your touches and you’re scoring touchdowns and you’re running for yards, I mean all those things.

“If you’re a pass rusher, you want to be getting pressure and making plays, all those things relate to how a guy’s paid. And once you pay that player a lot of money, then with that comes high expectations. And they know that, these players know that, they compete at the highest levels.”