It’s a Monday. It’s cold and rainy, and you’re headed back to work after a week-long vacation from [pick a place], where it’s 85 and sunny all year long.
After the amazing week the Mavericks had leading up to the NBA trade deadline, going back to Cowboys talk and reflecting on the 2018 Cowboys’ campaign seems to feel pretty similar. However, in the name of moving forward, I believe discussions such as these are important to have.
The Cooper trade saved Dallas’ season…
Adding his skills to the offense brought an element of speed and technicality in his route-running which was everything in the Cowboys’ 7-1 run into the postseason. He fit like a glove onto the starting lineup, found his connection with Dak, rejuvenated the run game, and has been everything the Cowboys needed plus more.
The premise of that trade and the circumstances surrounding it don’t instill a lot of confidence in me for a number of reasons, foremost of which being the fact that it all started with Jerry and the Cowboys brass having to openly admit their transgressions after hammering it home all offseason that the WR corps they had signed was going to surprise everyone. On a year in which coaching ability on the sideline was already being called into question, it seemed after starting 3-5 on the season and losing to Tennessee at home that the only people who were surprised by the lack of efficiency on offense was the organization itself. So rather than Dallas being in a position where they could decide to pin their ears back and sign a player they knew was going to propel them towards a championship, this trade was predicated entirely upon saving face and keeping fans from jumping ship. It just wasn’t a “feel-good” moment, the way you would want a blockbuster trade like this to be.
Another element to this trade which has already been over-discussed has been the price. There was a lot of shakeup in the WR market this past offseason and going into 2018, and it doesn’t take expert analysis to make a valid argument about Dallas overpaying for Cooper. When Cleveland can get Jarvis Landry for a fourth and seventh, New England two consecutive years can drop mid-round picks for names like Brandin Cooks and Josh Gordon, Dallas having to shell out a first-rounder for a player who has seemingly under-produced his past two seasons in the league bolsters the argument that Dallas needed to make this trade happen. The only other receiver in the league to be offered up for a first-rounder this past season was Cooks in his trade to the Rams-a proven WR1 and one of the top players at his postion- for a first and seventh rounder. However costly the move may have been, given their need for offensive weapons and the lack of options in the first round of next year’s draft, the Cooper trade ultimately ends up looking like a stroke of genius on the part of the Cowboys and less so for the Raiders, who surely thought that pick would be higher than 27th.
There are a lot of elements to consider when trying to fully evaluate the Amari Cooper trade, and it is really isn’t easy to fully qualify. Props to the organization for making it happen though, because it ended up paying dividends almost immediately and helped drag the Cowboys back from the depths.
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