The trade that sent Amari Cooper from Dallas to Cleveland this offseason is working out for the Browns. But the man who made the trade, Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, says it will work out in the long term for the Cowboys as well.
Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that by trading Cooper for a fifth-round draft pick, the Cowboys ended up with significant salary cap savings that will improve the team in the future.
“The issue with Amari Cooper was how much we were paying him and what we could do with that money, completely. Amari Cooper is a real good player. Top player,” Jones said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News
Jones said the Cowboys needed to cap space to prioritize the offensive line and the pass rush.
“You can’t have it all,” Jones said.
If the Cowboys had kept Cooper, he would have counted $20 million against their cap this year. By trading him, they reduced that to a $6 million dead cap hit. The Browns then restructured his contract so that he counts only $4.9 million against the cap this year, but is then slated to have cap his of almost $24 million each of the next two years. The Cowboys could’ve kept Cooper and restructured his contract too, but they didn’t want those future cap hits.
So the real question is whether Jones and the Cowboys’ front office will make smart decisions with that cap savings in 2023 and beyond. And whether the Cowboys can use that money on players who will make a bigger impact than Cooper.