In a cost-cutting move, the Dallas Cowboys parted ways with Amari Cooper, their most productive receiver for the past three seasons. While CeeDee Lamb did have more receiving yards in 2021, Cooper has been the franchise leader in three of his four seasons with America’s Team.
By trading the four-time Pro Bowl WR, along with a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns, the Cowboys received a fifth and sixth-round pick in return. Needless to say, this is a very underwhelming return. But it’s better than the alternative if they were deadset on removing Cooper from their roster.
The real benefit for the Cowboys lies with the $16 million in cap savings.
Jerry Jones essentially chose to re-sign Michael Gallup to a five-year, $62.5 million contract instead of pay Cooper $20 million in 2022.
Instead they chose to move on from one of their top players, who actually has proven to be a playmaker in recent seasons. This will undoubtedly impact their top-ranked scoring offense from a year ago, but the Cowboys appear to have found a way to rationalize the decision, internally.
Amari Cooper doesn’t fit the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2022?
According to 105.3 The Fan, someone with the Dallas Cowboys reportedly let Amari Cooper know that he “doesn’t fit their offense“.
It’s a bit strange. As far as we know, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and quarterback Dak Prescott are returning. It doesn’t appear as though the team has any plans to change their offense from a season ago, and 31.2 points per game is pretty good. Good enough to lead the NFL anyway. But no, you’re right, Cooper doesn’t fit the offense. Suddenly.
Cooper doesn’t fit their offense, but Ezekiel Elliott still does? Zeke’s effectiveness has waned (4.1 YPC since 2020) and he has a bloated contract of which the Cowboys are stuck with for now ($30 million in dead money if moved in 2022).
Who knows if this is even a real report, but it seems more like a way for the Cowboys to try and find peace with their decision. Cooper had a $20 million cap hit, yet moving on from him left behind $4 million in dead cap money, for a total savings of $16 million and Gallup is only set to count $5 million in 2022. At the end of the day, sticking with Gallup over Cooper saves them a grand total of $11 million next season.
How much will the loss of Cooper impact the offense in 2022? Well, he didn’t fit anyway, but we’ll see.