Could the Dallas Cowboys end up losing Amari Cooper?

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Up to the point the Dallas Cowboys have done a great job managing their offseason. Well, except for the Amari Cooper situation.

The Dallas Cowboys have shown a few things this offseason when it comes to player contracts. First, they are willing to play the long game. Second, they make good on their word to pay their top players what they deserve. Just look at defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence’s contract.

They’ve said it about their Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott and All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott. What strikes me as odd is that you haven’t heard the same about three-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper had the biggest impact on a football team last season than any other player traded or signed last year. He is in the final year of his rookie deal and scheduled to make a base salary of $13.9 million in 2019 under his fifth-year option.

We know the Cowboys have been trying to play the long game with Cooper but now it looks like it has come back to bite them in the butt. Rumors are that Cooper and his agent have decided to hold off making a deal until Atlanta Falcons’ star receiver Julio Jones, and New Orleans Saints’ star receiver Michael Thomas get theirs done. Either could represent a new ceiling or floor for Cooper’s next deal.

While the news is that Jones and the Falcons are close to a new deal and should have one done before training camp, Thomas and the Saints are reportedly $4 million apart. This is where the Cowboys problem begins. If Cooper is waiting for Thomas’ new deal, then it could be awhile. Possibly even causing Amari to elect to enter the regular season without an extension. And during that time he could post another great performance causing his price to rise even higher.

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The Dallas Cowboys should have signed Amari Cooper to an extension once they acquired him from the Oakland Raiders last season. If Cooper does have another strong season and outperforms the Cleveland Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. and the Saints’ Michael Thomas, then the Cowboys are going to have to make Amari the highest paid receiver in the NFL. And if they are already paying Lawrence, Prescott, and Elliott top dollar, then they may not have enough salary cap space to keep Cooper if he becomes a free agent.