Cowboys rival rubs salt in wound of disastrous Amari Cooper trade

Jerry Jones will never live this down.
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

When you think back on some of the worst moves in recent Dallas Cowboys history, multiple things come to mind. The selection of Taco Charlton in the first round of the 2017 draft is a bitter memory for fans. If you skipped back to the previous century, the Jimmy Johnson breakup probably takes the cake.

While Charlton was a terrible use of assets, the Cowboys redeemed themselves when they drafted Micah Parsons in 2021. A move that Jerry Jones has yet to make up for is trading Amari Cooper in the 2022 offseason.

Cowboys fans are probably tired of hearing about the Cooper trade, but it still haunts the franchise. The player Dallas elected to keep over Cooper -- Michael Gallup -- is no longer on the team after he was released in March. Gallup tore his ACL two months before he received a five-year $62.5 million extension. It was an unnecessary gamble by the front office and it blew up in their face.

The Joneses will never live down trading Cooper, and recent comments from Eagles cornerback Darius Slay hammer home just how foolish it was.

Darius Slay praising Amari Cooper is a dagger to Cowboys fans

Cooper is in the midst of a contract standoff with the Browns. Slay, like several other NFL players, can't understand why Cleveland hasn't paid Cooper, who just set a career-high with 1,250 receiving yards and 17.4 yards per reception last season in just 15 games.

"A guy that has been a consistent thousand-yard receiver and has been doing his thing and people still don't give him credit is really Amari Cooper," Slay said on the "Green Light With Chris Long" podcast.

"He really the one that's really being slept on. He's really the only receiver that really, I truly think that has a true route tree as can run all the routes. Lot of guys got special abilities, can be running faster or somebody that's 6-6, 6-5, can just Moss you cause he's bigger than you. But Amari Cooper, off the line of scrimmage, he's amazing; after the catch, he's amazing; he can attack the ball."

It pains us to admit it given he stars for the Eagles but Slay hit the nail on the head. Cooper was underappreciated in Dallas (by the front office, not fans) and he's getting the same treatment in Cleveland. All in spite of consistent production year-to-year.

Cooper has tallied 1,000 yards receiving in all but two of nine seasons, and he missed a combined three games those years. In terms of Cowboys receivers, only CeeDee Lamb, Terrell Owens and Michael Irvin averaged more receiving yards per game in team history than Cooper's 69.5. He's also top 10 in catches and receiving yards at the position.

The five-time Pro Bowler is grossly underpaid relative to his production. As of this writing, a whopping 19 wideouts have a higher salary than Cooper. Entering the final year of the five-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Cowboys, Cooper skipped mandatory minicamp.

Much like former teammate CeeDee Lamb, Cooper shouldn't step foot on the practice field until the Browns pay him what he's worth.

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