It’s not too early any longer.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dallas is likely to release Cooper by the start of the new league year.
Cooper is due to make $20 million in base salary that becomes fully guaranteed on March 20. Releasing him would save the Cowboys $16 million in cap space.
But just because Dallas is likely to release Cooper doesn’t mean that will be the ultimate result. A receiver-needy team with significant cap space could swoop in and trade for him.
Though he was the league’s highest-paid receiver in 2021, Cooper was not even the leading receiver on his own team. He finished the regular season tied for 39th in receptions (68), 34th in receiving yards (865), and tied for 37th in points among non-kickers with eight touchdowns.
The fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft, Cooper has caught 292 passes for 3,893 yards with 27 touchdowns since being traded to the Cowboys from the Raiders midway through the 2018 season.
Without Cooper, Dallas will have CeeDee Lamb and several question marks at receiver entering the new league year. Notably, Michael Gallup and Cedric Wilson are both set to become unrestricted free agents, as is tight end Dalton Schultz.
But according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, part of the plan is for the Cowboys to secure a long-term deal with Gallup.