Eatman: Quick Fix or Future? Trade Was Both 


FRISCO, Texas – Did the Cowboys hit the panic button on this 3-4 season heading into the bye week?

Yes, they did. They most certainly did, refusing to sit quietly and watch this offense struggle even more.

Did they also build for the future with a receiver that could potentially be a building block for this offense?

Yes, they did. They most certainly did that as well.

And it's those two statements right there that make this trade a little hard to dissect for some.

It's not just a move to help right now. It's a move to help this team down the road.

Hey, I'm right there with everyone that thinks the Cowboys gave up too much. A first-round pick? Wow, that's very pricey, and I just can't imagine sitting here in March and April and being completely content with not having a first-round pick. Maybe it's because I've seen this before. Joey Galloway didn't make a difference right away. Roy Williams never lived up to the expectations.

It's hard for receivers to just dominate because they obviously need the offensive line to do its job, and then the quarterback has to do his job as well. 

Go back and look at all the great receivers in history. How many of them had just average quarterbacks or worse? It happens, but it's rare.

And I'm not calling out Dak Prescott here, but I think we all know that he's not a quarterback who is elevating his receivers. In fact, he has shown that he's the one who needs the help to become a good player.

So my point is that it's going to be hard for Amari Cooper, especially in just nine games, to play well enough to justify not picking until the second round.

Then again, if you want the guy, you have to go and get him. From what I've been hearing, the Cowboys weren't the only team offering a first-round pick. And there were a few more teams than just Philadelphia willing to give up a second.

So as much as people want to complain about the compensation, it sounds like that was the market value to land a 24-year-old wide receiver with two 1,000-yard seasons under his belt.

Quick fact: Did you know Cooper is one of just nine players in the history of the NFL to begin his career with consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons? Yeah, last year was a drop-off, but he's not far removed from putting up record-setting numbers.

And at the end of the day, that's really the selling point here. That's why this isn't just a quick-fix move to help a struggling passing game. But regardless of how this season plays out, and whether or not there are multiple changes next year on the staff or even at quarterback, it seems rather clear that Amari Cooper will be in the mix.

When you look at the wide receivers coming out in the draft next year, it's very likely Cooper will be better than them and still under the age of 25.

Cooper is likely better than any expected free-agent receiver who will be on the market as well.

So you're getting a young, talented and accomplished receiver at the age of 24. That's why the Cowboys made this trade and why it appears as if other teams were interested as well.

That doesn't mean everyone will be correct. A lot of this is on Cooper, who has to learn this offense quickly. He said in an interview on Tuesday night that his focus is solely on working hard and winning more games. That seems like a really good motto, especially on this team, at that position.

I've had a lot of people comment on the fact that he seems really quiet and reserved on camera. Well, maybe that's a good thing. We've seen plenty of players at his position that make sure they are heard one way or another.

All in all, the Cowboys made this move to help their team right now. They helped their head coach and coaching staff with a player who immediately becomes the team's No. 1 receiver.

They helped their quarterback, not only this year, but probably buying him some time next year as well.

And more than anything, this moves gives them a chance to win a division that is very well up for grabs.

Did they spend too much? Only time will tell.

But the Cowboys are hoping Amari Cooper can be the quick fix right now, and the team's future at wide receiver – all rolled into one.