Grading the Amari Cooper Trade

Amari Cooper
Montae Nicholson” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

We have another trade to announce! The Dallas Cowboys have traded for Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper. Below is a quick breakdown of what each team receives in this trade.

Dallas Cowboys: Receive WR Amari Cooper.

Oakland Raiders: Receive Dallas’ first-round pick.

Which team won the trade? Is it the team who has been in need of a WR all season long? Or is it the team who is gutting their team and preparing for a complete rebuild in the next few seasons? Below are my analysis and grades for both teams. Be prepared for the Cowboys’ analysis. This is coming from a Dallas Cowboys fan, so I have a bit to say.


Dallas Cowboys

There are some things I like about this trade for Dallas, but there are also things I absolutely hate about this trade. I see what Dallas is trying to do by trading for Amari Cooper. One of, if not their biggest weakness all season long has been the WR group. They needed to get better in that area, and I feel like Amari Cooper does make them better as a unit. Does Amari Cooper fix their WR problems? Not at all.

Dallas needed to acquire a true number one WR. Amari Cooper may have looked like a number one after starting his NFL career with two straight 1,000 yard seasons, but he’s since fallen off. Last season he ended with 680 receiving yards, although he did have his highest TD output (7). Through six games this season, Amari Cooper has 22 receptions for 280 yards and 1 TD.

Amari Cooper’s numbers this season aren’t even the best numbers the Cowboys are getting from a WR this year. WR Cole Beasley leads the team with 33 receptions for 350 yards and 2 TDs. The guy Dallas traded for to be their number one WR isn’t putting up number one WR numbers!

Although Amari Cooper hasn’t been so great after a great start to his NFL career, he’s still only 24. Out of all the WRs on the Dallas roster, Cooper has the most potential. In my opinion, he’s not a number one receiver, but rather a number two.

As I was writing this, one of friends was texting me about this trade. He asked me if I thought Amari Cooper would be utilized correctly with Dallas. I quickly answered, “Not with Jason Garrett as head coach.” I feel like Amari Cooper could be a very good player for the Cowboys, but Jason Garrett won’t let him. He’s holding all of his players back. He doesn’t even know how to use RB Ezekiel Elliott correctly, which is just sad.

Although I liked getting Amari Cooper and I do think he makes the Cowboys better, I was pissed they gave up a first-round pick for him. His production doesn’t justify giving up that high of a pick. What if Amari Cooper doesn’t resign with the team when his contract is up? Then it looks even worse that they gave up a first-round pick for him!

This situation reminds of the Roy Williams trade back in 2008 all over again. Dallas gave up a first-round pick for him after he had 17 receptions for 232 yards and 1 TD on the season. The season before he had 64 receptions for 838 yards. He had only had one 1,000 yard season in his career. The best season he had in four years with Dallas was 38 receptions for 596 yards and 7 TDs. In other words, not worth a first-round pick.

To recap, I like Dallas getting a player with potential like Amari Cooper has. Dallas needed to get a better WR, and they got one with Amari Cooper. He adds depth and makes the position better, but was it worth giving up a first-round pick for him? No way.

Grade: C


Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden finally did something right. After taking the heat for trading away Khalil Mack, Gruden is now being praised for getting another first-round pick for Amari Cooper. By getting another first-round pick in this trade, the Raiders now have FIVE first-round picks in the next two NFL Drafts. They’ll be able to pretty much do anything they want in the draft.

Getting a first-round pick for a guy who has 22 receptions for 280 yards and 1 TD is pretty dang good. Amari Cooper was supposed to be their number one WR, but he was third in yards and TDs to this point in the season.

It’s pretty obvious the Raiders are rebuilding for their future in Vegas and don’t care about what happens now. Trading Amari Cooper can’t make them any worse than they are now anyway. If this wasn’t the focus already, trading Amari Cooper makes the Raiders’ focus about the next couple of offseasons.

Here’s the bottom line for the Raiders: They’re not going to compete now, so getting draft picks to help them build to compete in the future is what they have to do. This trade was spot on with what the Raiders are trying to do. They got a first-round pick for a player who hasn’t been producing. Great move for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Grade: A


What are your thoughts on this trade? Who won? Will Amari Cooper be worth a first-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys? Comment below!



  1. Love the Trade. Now the Raiders can focus on the big move to Vegas without any questions over their top receiver. It’s all about the transition to Vegas anyways. Coach Gruden showed that when he traded Khalil Mack


  2. Surprised by the move, thought a first-round pick was pretty steep. I agree with you in that it’s not even guaranteed he will mesh in Dallas. And yes – there’s Jason Garrett. If – and that’s a BIG if – Cooper can find some chemistry with Dak, Cooper and Gallup could be a very good WR tandem for years. Cooper – although very boom-or-bust this season – has been very productive during his time in Oakland, so he adds a potential game-changer in Dallas. Pair that with Zeke, and the Cowboys offense could be fairly potent. Lots of contingencies to be seen on this trade, but the potential to be a positive for both sides.


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