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Gut Feeling: Analysis Of The Cooper Trade


FRISCO, Texas – A full 24 hours after the trade for Amari Cooper has been announced, there have been mixed opinions floating around about the newest Cowboys wide receiver.

Not so much with the acquisition of Cooper, who was the No. 4 overall pick in 2015 with the Raiders, but the fact the Cowboys sent a first-rounder to Oakland. Yes, the Cowboys needed help at receiver, but was the price too high? 

And what does this mean for the Cowboys this season? What about the quarterback position?

Those questions and more were all addressed by the staff as they weigh in on the Cowboys' big news this week.

Nick Eatman: After looking at this for a full day, I still have the same opinion I had initially. I really like the addition. I just don't like the compensation. And some of that could be history talking. I've been around for the Joey Galloway trade that cost the team two first-round picks. I saw the Roy Williams trade as well that cost them another first-round pick. Personally, the 2000 and 2009 drafts – the two that followed those trades without a No. 1 – were some of the worst overall drafts in club history. So it's not ideal to go into next year's draft without a first. I do like Cooper as a player and think his big-play ability is desperately needed. I do think he'll make them better. But I just can't foresee us sitting here next April and being fine with not picking until Friday night. I think it's a great pickup, but the price seems a little high.

Rob Phillips: The trade makes sense if you look at this way: There's a strong chance the Cowboys would have made wide receiver their top draft priority, Cooper is a better player than any prospect they could have drafted in the first round, and he's not much older than a wide out coming out of college. This team is trying to make the playoffs and clearly doesn't think they're far off, knowing their defense is holding teams to 17 points a game. I just think you've got to give credit to the front office for deciding their offseason plan at wide receiver wasn't working well enough, then doing something to improve the offense – and in the process, showing the locker room that there's faith in them to go after the division title this year.

David Helman: I've said the name "Amari Cooper" more times than I can count in the last 36 hours, but this trade really isn't about him. It's about Dak Prescott. From the time Zeke Elliott was suspended and Tyron Smith was injured last November, Prescott hasn't looked like the guy the Cowboys want to build a franchise around. It's easy to argue that he hasn't had a lot of help guiding this offense – so the Cowboys changed that. Yes, this trade is about helping Dak win the division in 2018, but it goes way beyond that. Without a first-round pick in 2018, it's hard to imagine the Cowboys drafting a successor in 2019. That means that Dak Prescott is your starting quarterback for the foreseeable future – and the Cowboys want to make sure he has every weapon possible to be successful. Is that going to be good enough? Only time will tell. But more so than pushing their chips in on this specific team, I think the trade for Amari Cooper means the Cowboys are pushing their chips in on Dak Prescott. We can quibble about the price, but I applaud them for the effort.