To cut or not to cut: Which Cowboys have played their last snap?

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) /

123. . . . C.J. Goodwin CB.. 2. player

Special teams. It’s never talked about unless it is elite or the worst in the NFL. C.J. Goodwin is a cornerback, but he plays most of his snaps as a special teamer. He started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016 but has been a prominent player for the Cowboys since 2018. While he impressed on defending kick and punt returns, he only has 42 defensive snaps.

Since his role doesn’t get much love, Dallas may consider releasing the cornerback. It would save the team $1.5 million. That’s enough money to sign a replacement with some leftover money to allocate elsewhere.

This decision depends on the financial situation of the team. If Dallas needs an extra $1.5 million, Goodwin will be expendable. Since the cap hit is low, it won’t be complicated to keep him with the team, and they won’t gain much by cutting him. If the team can get away with it, they should try and keep Goodwin around. The savings aren’t quite enough.

Verdict: Leave Contract Alone

123. . . . Amari Cooper WR.. 1. player

This has been a topic of conversation since mid-season. The usage, or lack thereof, has caused many to consider cutting star wide receiver, Amari Cooper. The Joneses are considering cutting Cooper due to his lack of production and the high value of his contract. For only the second time in his career, Cooper failed to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. The other time was back in 2017. He missed two games in both seasons due to an injury.

When on the field, he is among the top route-runners in the NFL. Combine that with elite hands and his ability to open space for his teammates. If there is one type of player teams crave, it’s Cooper.

Yes, Cooper should have had better production if he was making top-notch money. But Cooper’s importance lies elsewhere, too. He has the ability to draw extra attention and make it easier for his teammates to make big plays. That is what Cooper has done throughout his career.

Since breaking out as a rookie with the Raiders in 2015, opposing defenses have honed their eyes on the shifty wideout. He may not be the fastest, but he knows how to work the sweet spots. That meant more attention, which resulted in a sudden drop in production in 2017.

The lack of threats around him resulted in the defense focusing on just him. That changed when he arrived in Dallas midway through the 2018 season. Since playing opposite to good receivers, the Alabama product returned to his star form. People are forgetting the undisputed impact Cooper has on the Cowboys’ offense. Here is why.

Dallas had an overwhelming amount of offensive talent this past season. There are only so many targets to share. Career seasons for Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz, and Cedrick Wilson played into the drop in usage for Amari Cooper. Rather than looking at Cooper as dropping off, we should look at what he opened up for others. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a lot.

Cutting the wideout would save $16 million in cap space. While that’s a good chunk of money, you can’t replicate the talent at the price you have Cooper signed. Other big-name free agent wide receivers will call for more money, and you can’t throw just anyone into the lineup.

While Michael Gallup and Wilson are valuable parts of the team, they do not equal Cooper. Jerry Jones must pick between the duo of Gallup and Wilson or Cooper. It’s much easier to find a WR3 and WR4 than someone like Amari Cooper, so he needs to stick around. Cutting Cooper and keeping other free agent receivers would be a mistake, in my opinion.

Verdict: Leave Contract Alone