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Dallas Cowboys won’t commit to Amari Cooper: ‘It’s too early’ to address that

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has been the subject of widespread rumors following a disappointing 2021 campaign for the former Pro Bowler.

It was earlier this offseason that reports suggested Dallas could look to trade the high-priced wide receiver while attempting to re-sign fellow pass-catcher Michael Gallup in free agency.

According to Cowboys vice president and CEO Stephen Jones, no decision has been made on Cooper’s future in Big D. However, the front office head did not come close to committing to Cooper moving forward.

“It’s too early for me to address that yet. We’re continuing to have conversations. A lot of things affect that…moving parts.”

Dallas Cowboys’ Stephen Jones on Amari Cooper’s status, via Jori Epstein of USA Today

Even after signing Cooper to a five-year, $100 million contract extension back in March of 2020, the Cowboys’ brass had their reservations about the star pass-catcher. This was only magnified during a 2021 season in which Cooper missed two games due to COVID-19 while being unvaccinated. It led to a major rift behind the scenes between the former Alabama star and his organization.

Related: Ideal Amari Cooper trade scenarios from the Dallas Cowboys

Will the Dallas Cowboys look to trade Amari Cooper?

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Oct 3, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) scores a touchdown against Carolina Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson (15) during the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like things could very well be trending in this direction. Dallas finds itself $21.16 million over the 2022 NFL salary cap. For his part, Cooper is slated to count $22 million against said cap. Dallas can save $16 million by trading the 27-year-old former first-round pick. Cooper’s regression last season could also add a new layer to this.

  • Amari Cooper stats (2020): 92 receptions, 1,114 yards, 5 TD, 70.8% catch rate
  • Amari Cooper stats (2021): 68 receptions, 965 yards, 8 TD, 65.4% catch rate

With Dallas making Gallup a priority to re-sign ahead of NFL free agency opening next month, Cooper could potentially be the odd-man out. The presence of stud wide receiver CeeDee Lamb will also play a role here.

As for a potential trade, any team acquiring Cooper from Dallas would be taking on a $20 million salay cap hit. That might be a difficult sell.

For the Cowboys, moving off Cooper after just three full seasons would be a bitter pill to swallow. Remember, they yielded a first-round pick to the then-Oakland Raiders back in Ocotber of 2018 to bring in the talented receiver.

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