Advantages and opportunities the trade creates
I know, trading a true number one receiver sounds nuts. But before you start howling, let me show you what the deal accomplishes. Let’s say the Cowboys take Cavenaugh’s suggestion. Could they get a first-round pick for him?
My first idea would be to call the New England Patriots first. They’re desperate for receivers. Poor Tom Brady didn’t have a single decent pass catcher on his roster last year. Think he’d like to have four-time Pro Bowl receiver Cooper to throw to? I can almost see him salivating at the thought!
But even if the Patriots don’t go for it, there are thirty other teams that might. Even if none of them were willing to give up a first, they might give a second, and some other pick, let’s say a third or a fourth. Maybe two second-rounders.
But I think the Cowboys would have a decent shot at recouping a late first-rounder. There aren’t many true star wide receivers in the league, players who can take over a game. Amari Cooper is one of them.
Those three great receivers in the draft are likely to all be gone by, let’s say pick 25. One of those remaining teams might just be desperate enough to give up their first-round draft pick for Amari.
Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, Dallas is offered the 27th pick for Cooper, and Jerry Jeudy is still on the board at pick 17. They can take Jeudy, trade Cooper, and use number 27 for one of the top cornerbacks, safeties, or defensive linemen in the draft.
America’s Team would then have a potential star wide receiver, and a defensive standout, both on rookie contracts. They’d be in a much better position with the salary cap.
If they decided on this strategy right now, they could use that money to sign Pro Bowl cornerback free agent Byron Jones, plus a pretty good defensive tackle. Or they could let Jones go and sign one of the top free-agent tackles, like D.J. Reader of the Houston Texans, or Javon Hargrave from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Or if they wait, but decide to pull the trigger on draft day, Dallas could draft the best defender on the board, and use the money to sign a few of the better free agents still available.
Let’s throw a few more names in there to complete the picture. Let’s say Amari and Byron are gone, and the Cowboys have drafted Jerry Jeudy at pick 17. Then they can take cornerbacks Jeff Gladney from TCU or Trevon Diggs from Alabama with their newly acquired late first-round pick. And they would have already signed D.J. Reader as a free agent.
Just look what that does for the team. Are you starting to see why I got excited? The Cowboys could fill the spots of Jones and Cooper with excellent first-round players, plus get the best defensive tackle free agent on the market, and still have money left over. Plus, they’ll still have all the rest of their draft picks left. They could conceivably nab safety Antoine Winfield Jr. from Minnesota or Jeremy Chinn from Southern Illinois.
Before the third round even started, they could have all their biggest needs filled. And all of those players (except Reader) would be on rookie contracts for four more years, the first-rounders possibly for five! It’s a tantalizing idea, isn’t it?