The Dallas Cowboys' trade for Brandin Cooks finally paid off in Week 6. Cooks only caught four passes, but it was a season-high and he was on the receiving end of the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter against the LA Chargers.
Cooks' clutch performance further proved that he needs more targets when the Cowboys return from their Week 7 bye.
Before the Cowboys settled on acquiring Cooks, they were linked with a number of wideouts. DeAndre Hopkins was a popular name, and Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs famously treated Odell Beckham Jr. to a Mavericks game as a recruitment pitch to the then-free agent.
Jerry Jeudy is another player fans wanted, but the Cowboys were hesitant to trade a first-round pick for the polarizing receiver. Now reportedly back on the market for likely half the cost amid another lackluster season, Dallas is absolutely vindicated for not trading for Jeudy in the offseason.
Cowboys are justified for not trading for Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy in offseason
Much like Justin Herbert, the hype surrounding Jeudy is more about a projection of what he can become. Both players were highly-touted coming out of college, and neither has lived up to the hype given their physical profiles and the heights they reached at Oregon and Alabama, respectively.
Jeudy was the second WR taken in the 2020 draft; two picks before the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb No. 17 overall. Despite having a clear path to the WR1 job in Denver, Jeudy is still searching for his first 1,000-yard season and his reputation around the league as a potential WR1 is fading.
He appeared to come into his own last year when he caught 67 passes for 972 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games. His 77.9 receiving grade was the highest of his career and his 6.2 yards after the catch ranked fourth among receivers.
However, Jeudy's inconsistency has reared its ugly head this season. His 220 receiving yards are tied for 66th at the position, he's yet to score a touchdown and his 66.5 receiving grade is his lowest since his rookie season, per PFF.
Jeudy's raw talent and contract flexibility will see a team trade for him at the deadline, but the Cowboys front office should be praised for not caving to its WR desperation and trading a first for the talented 24-year-old.
Make no mistake: Dallas was desperate for a new WR. Last season, they were reliant on Noah Brown, a confidence-lacking and hobbled Michael Gallup, a 33-year-old T.Y. Hilton and an assortment of rookie tight ends (along with Dalton Schultz) behind star CeeDee Lamb.
Cooks will have a bigger impact despite a slower-than-expected start and all he cost was a fifth-round pick in 2023 and sixth-round pick in 2024.
Sometimes the best deals are the ones that don't reach the finish line.