The Cleveland Browns have more connections with the Dallas Cowboys besides sharing a bye week this week. The Browns and Cowboys got together for one of the first major trades in an offseason that was full of them. Cleveland acquired WR Amari Cooper after reports at the NFL combine that Dallas might release him.
In eight games for the Browns, Cooper has 39 receptions for 553 yards and five touchdowns. Leading the team’s passing attack, along with QB Jacoby Brissett, Cooper helps balance out a top-10 offense.
So far, Cooper is tied for tenth in receiving yards and fifth in receiving touchdowns despite being tied for 20th in receptions.
His former team misses him.
The Cowboys have been looking to replace what they lost in Cooper. Reports at the NFL trade deadline were that the team looked to trade for Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks:
The Cowboys and Texans were discussing a deal to send WR Brandin Cooks to Dallas, per sources. And the sides were in the neighborhood on comp. Cooks’ $18 million guarantee for 2023 was the dealbreaker here.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 1, 2022
It had been reported that Houston wanted a second and a fourth-round pick in exchange for Cooks. It is interesting that salary, which was one of the primary reasons for the Cooper trade, held the deal up but not the significant trade compensation.
Cooks has been a good receiver including over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns each of the last two years.
Dallas isn’t done trying to replace Cooper as rumors fly that former Cleveland (most recently with the Los Angeles Rams) receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is on their radar:
The #Cowboys are among the teams who have checked on Odell Beckham Jr’s health recently as he recovers from ACL surgery. From me and @RapSheet on Dallas keeping OBJ on its radar: https://t.co/7bBXSjnwHv— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 6, 2022
We also heard from Jay Glazer that, with Beckham cleared, a bidding war could ensue. In the same video, Glazer notes how Cooks’ contract made him basically untradeable.
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Looking back, the Cowboys jumping on a fifth-round selection (and a pick swap in the sixth) to get Cooper’s contract off their books looks like a big mistake. They almost parted with two higher picks to get Cooks and now could be having to fight off other teams to sign a player coming off a second major ACL injury.
Dallas's search for a replacement further highlights the steal Cleveland got with Cooper this offseason. While the Cowboys have a much better record (6-2) than the Browns, GM Andrew Berry clearly won this offseason trade.