Dallas Cowboys should cut Amari Cooper loose
The Cowboys would get $16 million back in cap space if they cut Cooper.
An Alabama product, Cooper has been Dak Prescott’s No. 1 target for the majority of his career. Cooper’s struggled with drops, inconsistency in route-running and injuries his past few seasons. After the 2022 campaign, even Jerry Jones — who was once a stout defender of his — went on the record saying the Cowboys expected more from Cooper given his large contract.
"“I don’t have any comment on Cooper’s contract,” Jones said on Friday. “I thought that the way we were playing early when we did make something happen, I thought Cooper had a big part of it. And I’m not being trite. But how he fits in, he should take half the field with him when he runs a route. Not half — half is an exaggeration, of course, but a whole bunch of that defense should have to honor Cooper. And he ought to be able to catch it in the middle of when they’re going with him. Others do. You throw to people that are covered all the time in the NFL. You have to. Most people don’t have the numbers of receivers we’ve had.”"
Jones claimed he didn’t want to talk about Cooper’s contract, but those expectations come from the fact that Cooper is due $60 million over the next three seasons if the Cowboys don’t cut him.
Coop had a down season in 2022, as he finished with just 68 catches for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s not nearly good enough for Prescott’s No. 1 target. With that $16 million in tow, and a few other decisions to follow suit, the Cowboys could pursue another No. 1 option for Prescott either via free agency or the NFL Draft.
CeeDee Lamb has shown flashes of that sort of potential, as well. Losing Cooper would hurt, but not as much as writing a $20 million check to him for the next three years.