5 Cowboys Who Won't Be Back if Dallas Doesn't Win the NFC

If the Dallas Cowboys don't win the NFC in 2023, these five members of the team could be on their way out in 2024
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver

In need of a replacement for Amari Cooper, whom the Cowboys foolishly traded to the Cleveland Browns for practically nothing, Dallas acquired Brandin Cooks this offseason. That deal ended a flirtation period that lasted nearly a year. Throughout the 2022 season, Cooks wanted to be traded and the Cowboys were constantly in talks with the Houston Texans.

Finally, the two sides came to an agreement and Cooks moved to Big D. There were some high expectations for the veteran wideout, which was understandable given his track record. Cooks entered the season with a resume that included hitting 1,000 yards six times in nine years. He also did so with four different teams.

Even in 2022 when he sat out four games, Cooks had 699 yards and three touchdowns. So naturally, he was penciled in as a starter and an impact player. Yet, things started out slow for the veteran. Cooks didn't record his first touchdown until Week 6 against the Chargers and before that, hadn't even cracked 30 yards receiving.

He's turned it on since then with 173 yards and a touchdown in their Week 10 win over the New York Giants. He then put up 72 yards and another score on four receptions during the Thanksgiving Day win over Washington. In all, he now has 33 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns which is respectable, even if not as impressive as he hoped for.

Looking ahead to 2024, Cooks is still under contract but Dallas will have to make some changes considering CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott's contract situations. Each will need to be extended and Micah Parsons is right behind them. That could lead to Cooks being let go in order to save $8 million. That is, unless they win it all and want to load up for another run. In that case, they may look to extend him and kick some of that money down the road.