Dallas Cowboys maintaining peak flexibility with Amari Cooper

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys have taken steps the past few weeks to convert money and free up cap space for the future. After restructuring Ezekiel Elliott’s last week, Dallas tinkered with Dak Prescott’s contract as well.

These moves didn’t mean much on their own but the move they haven’t made is speaking volumes. Amari Cooper’s contract, which is worthy of some restructuring, has yet to be touched, indicating the Cowboys wish to keep the powder dry should they choose to part ways with their WR1 at season’s end.

The Dallas Cowboys clearly want to maintain flexibility with Amari Cooper next year.

All Cooper has done since arriving in Dallas 2.5 seasons ago is transform the Cowboys from a pretender to a contender. His impact as a pass-catcher has been felt at all levels, boosting production in the passing game as well as opening things up inside for Zeke and the running game. Aside from a few injuries here or there, he’s paid off wonderfully for Dallas.

But things have a way of changing in the NFL and fellow WR CeeDee Lamb is expected to take an enormous leap in 2021. The Dallas Cowboys’ top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has been turning heads and appears to be a legit top-5 NFL WR in the making.

Playing four more seasons on his rookie deal (assuming Dallas picks up his fifth-year option), CeeDee’s an affordable star player – something the Cowboys need given how much money they’ve dedicated to Dak, Zeke, and their O-line.

If CeeDee can take that next step this season, the Cowboys may not feel obligated to carry Amari and his $20 million contract, no matter how good he performs.

Speaking of perform; Amari Cooper appears to be on the cusp of his own career season. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if Dallas’ top-3 WRs all had career seasons this year (provided they can all stay healthy).

And health seems to be the key element in this all.

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Amari has not missed significant time in his career, but he’s consistently missed time and/or lost effectiveness due to lingering injuries. If his 2021 season unfolds unhealthily, while CeeDee and WR3 Michael Gallup both have career seasons, Dallas could opt to let Cooper go and save $5-8 million by re-signing Gallup instead.

The point is the Dallas Cowboys don’t know. So many things are at play, Dallas appears to be keeping maximum flexibility so they can be ready for anything next offseason.

While I think the idea of cutting Coop is preposterous today, it may look like a feasible plan 6-months from now. That’s why this whole strategy seems fairly wise. All options are open and the book remains open on everyone.

Next. Expect career years from Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup in Dallas. dark

The one thing that seems unlikely under any circumstance is the Cowboys keeping both Gallup AND Cooper in 2022. That’s entirely too much money dedicated to one position and Dallas knows they need to funnel funds to the defensive side of the ball ASAP.