Dallas Cowboys: There’s hope for Amari Cooper to remain in Dallas

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

By most accounts, Amari Cooper‘s clock is at t-minus 10 days. Based on the parameters of his contract, on March 22nd his salary becomes fully guaranteed (according to OTC), meaning a decision must be made between now and then or else the Dallas Cowboys are on the hook for his remaining $16M cap hit.

Based on comments from Dallas Cowboys brass over the past few weeks, the sun may have set on his time in Dallas. At just 27-years-old, Cooper has a lot of football yet to play. Perhaps even the best football is yet to come. So Cooper isn’t in a position where he feels he needs to take a pay-cut just to preserve his career. If it’s not in Dallas, it will be elsewhere.

The Dallas Cowboys seem to be coming around to that same line of thinking as Cooper. Sensing value in their $22 million WR, they are now opening their eyes to the trade market. With the salary cap expanding vastly over the next two seasons and teams already spending big on top-end WRs, Dallas may not be overpaying for Cooper at all.

Some teams would kill to have a blue-chipper like Coop who’s locked into a reasonable deal that extends through his prime and expires when he’s 30. Even if Dallas seems to have telegraphed their intentions, some teams may not be eager to get in a bidding war that would surely require a commitment beyond that 2024 season currently in the books.

Now recent reports are neither the Dallas Cowboys nor Amari Cooper have closed the books on a possible return to Dallas. As we discussed on Thursday, Amari Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to work things out and stay together…

Related Story. It behooves Amari and the Cowboys to work this one out. light

As explained in the Related Article above, the grass probably won’t be greener for either party if a split is made.

The Dallas Cowboys may not have closed the books on an Amari Cooper return after all

Something we all need to keep in mind is that some of this could simply be posturing. Would the Dallas Cowboys like Amari Cooper to take a pay cut? Sure, they’d like everyone to take a pay cut. But it’s only a realistic request if the player can be threatened with an unattractive consequence.

To Cooper, the threat of being cut is far from unattractive. He gets to shop himself on the open market with his new deal likely being near the same in annual compensation and the length extending beyond the current 2024 parameters. He stands to come out quite well if he’s cut.

But if he’s traded he stands to lose. Sure he gets to keep his contract, but what happens if he goes to a bad team with a suspect QB situation. Keep in mind, attractive destinations aren’t going to be the ones that want to trade for him. It’s those unattractive destinations that will feel the need to trade.

The Dallas Cowboys may just be balking at the idea of a trade just so they can convince him to lower his price ever-so-slightly. If they are willing to keep him on the books and guarantee that remaining $16M, they gain some leverage.

Cooper wants to hit the market at the start of free agency when teams are flush with cash. That’s why his contract is written as it is. If he honestly thinks a trade is possible, he may be willing to negotiate to stay in Dallas.

Now, this probably gives the Dallas Cowboys front office far too much credit. Time and time again they’ve shown they have no idea how to negotiate and repeatedly pay more by playing “hardball” than they would if they just kept things timely, private, and professional.

But maybe, just maybe, they are using the threat of a trade to get a deal done. And maybe, just maybe, they intend on keeping Amari Cooper in Dallas regardless. With no final news on the status of Michael Gallup, anything is possible.

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While the chances of Amari Cooper returning to Dallas probably aren’t likely, they are possible and for that we hold out hope.