Dallas Cowboys continue to go big for 2023
The Dallas Cowboys have broken the age old mold of building strictly through the draft. The last week has been music to the ears of Cowboys fans, as they have made trades for Stephon Gilmore and now nine-year veteran Brandin Cooks, sending a 5th and 6th round pick the Texans way. Cooks opens up the offense a whole new level that was sorely missed in the NFC Divsional game against the 49ers.
The Dallas Cowboys have given Cee Dee Lamb a chance to thrive
Some might remember that the Cowboys pursued Cooks during the trade deadline and were rumored to have offered up a a third round pick at the time. Well, hindsight being 20/20 offers great relief that the deal did not go through, looking at what the trade package was this time. Along with the picks package that the Cowboys gave up, they’re also paying $12 million of his $18 million salary.
Cooks has been incredibly effective in his tenure in the NFL with six 1,000 yard seasons and 3+ touchdowns in all but one year.
Beyond his stats, Cooks provides versatility in the Cowboys offense that the Cowboys did not have last season. The plan of Michael Gallup as the deep threat, with Lamb primarily in the slot fell by the wayside when Gallup proved to be ineffective outside the numbers.
Defenses recognized that and zeroed in on Lamb, lowering his effectiveness as the season drew on. This did not bode well for Dak Prescott who targeted CeeDee Lamb at the 2nd highest rate of all receivers. Now, we have another solid option for Prescott to throw to and open up the field Lamb to operate.
Cooks operates well on both the outside and on the inside. Despite running more routes on the exterior, Cooks was inside the top 20 for Yards per Route Run from the slot in the last three seasons according to Pro Football Focus.
His ability to spread the field will also open up more chances for Gallup by default. Gallup excelled in his two years as Dallas Cowboys’ WR3 posting 1,107 and 843 receiving yards along with 11 total touchdowns.
A glaring need for the Dallas Cowboys after their brutal loss to the 49ers in the playoffs was an extra weapon for Prescott to work with.
Stephen went out this off-season and “cooked” up a deal that didn’t require giving up valuable assets and kept the Cowboys under the salary cap in the process. I’m looking forward to seeing how this offense operates in 2023.