Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 14, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

The Cowboys must find way to sign Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys are in a tough spot. Jerry Jones knows his wallet is about to take a hit, and potentially his roster too if Amari Cooper leaves.

With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement likely getting ratified in the next week, the NFL offseason is about to be turned upside down. Instead of having both the franchise tag and transition tag at their disposals, teams are now only going to have one to use.

For most franchises, this makes no difference to their plans. For the Cowboys, it means tagging quarterback Dak Prescott and potentially losing wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones to free agency.

 

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While Jones seems a foregone conclusion to be elsewhere in 2020, Cooper can’t be. Not from the Dallas perspective. It would be a disaster to give up a first-round pick last year for Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, only to get 1.5 years of production and then a compensatory pick on the back end.

The good news for the Cowboys? Cooper said he wants to be with the team for life, and extolled the virtues of playing alongside Prescott both currently and into the future. Per NFL.com:

“Very important. We’ve built a good relationship so far,” Cooper said. “From the time I got here, we were able to hit the ground running, and just from my experience in being in the NFL I wouldn’t say that’s a common thing. Sometimes you can line up with a quarterback after getting traded or going to a new team, whether it’s the draft or whatever, and it not go smooth. And so, I wouldn’t try to trade that for anything because I know what can be on the other side of that. I would say it’s very important.”

Amari Cooper could reset the market at receiver if the bidding war really gets going. The Cowboys have enough cap space to match any offer, and it might take a total of $100 million with more than 60 percent guaranteed. If Dallas had worked to sign Cooper and Prescott last offseason, perhaps it could have kept both at a lower rate while having the ability to tag Jones.

 

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Now? The Cowboys are only certain to keep Prescott, while the other two could end up walking.

Jerry Jones understands the mess this has become and will likely go to the proverbial mat to keep Cooper and save face. Losing him would be an unimaginable blunder.

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