After acquiring Stephon Gilmore and re-signing multiple important free agents, including Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch, there was one thing standing in the way of the Dallas Cowboys turning in a perfect report card in the first wave of free agency: acquiring an impact receiver.
You can go ahead and give them an A+ now, because they traded for Texans wideout Brandin Cooks early Sunday morning.
DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. were the names most heavily mentioned for Dallas. However, reports indicated Dallas had never truly inquired about Hopkins, who wanted a trade to the Cowboys and was willing to rework his contract to make it work.
Beckham’s contract demands, meanwhile, suggested the Cowboys would ultimately turn elsewhere.
They did just that, and they got a great deal out of it to, acquiring Cooks for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024.
The Dallas Cowboys have traded for WR Brandin Cooks.
Are we dreaming? The Cowboys are finally making the moves fans have been demanding for years.
Cooks has six 1,000-yard seasons in his career, including four straight from 2015 to 2018. He’s never been to a Pro Bowl, but most of his NFL peers will tell you he’s that caliber of player. Look no further than his 2021 season when he tallied 90 catches for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns for the 4-13 Texans.
All of a sudden, the Cowboys WR corps is nothing to be trifled with. With Cooks entering the fold alongside CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, Dak Prescott is in a perfect position to bounce back from a letdown campaign.
Recent rumblings indicated the Cowboys would only sanction a receiver trade if it meant replicating the value from the Amari Cooper trade. That led many fans to believe a trade wouldn’t happen given DeAndre Hopkins is going for a second-round pick, and the Broncos want a first-round pick for Jerry Jeudy.
To put the icing on the cake, Houston will pay $6 million of Cooks’ 2023 salary, meaning the Cowboys will pay the remaining $12 million.
While Cooks isn’t as dynamic as Cooper and Jeudy, he’s a perfect complement to CeeDee Lamb. Cooks plays out wide over 70% of the time, which will allow Lamb to kick inside to the slot, where he’s dominated in his career.
The other great thing about Cooks is that he can play the slot, too, so Dallas seemingly will be moving both players around a ton next season.
What a magnificent start to the offseason for the Cowboys.