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Thread: Past, present and future support 1st-rd pick for Amari Cooper

  1. #1
    Senior Member p1_'s Avatar
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    Past, present and future support 1st-rd pick for Amari Cooper

    ByPatrik Walker 4 hours ago

    Grab your Sports Almanac, Marty, and let's talk about Amari Cooper.

    You hate the trade, or maybe you love the move but not the cost. That's fair, and the latter is a point I share(d) with you. When it was rumored the Oakland Raiders were willing to entertain offers for Cooper, it made a ton of sense for the Dallas Cowboys to be in the front of that lunch line. After all, they're fourth-worst in the NFL in both total offense and in passing yards per game (183.1), and now sit at a record of 3-4 record that includes being 0-4 on the road in large part because of it. As expected, the usually-.500 Cowboys found a way to beat the No. 1 rated defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6, blinding many to the obvious trend that would again resurface as it had only one week before at NRG Stadium against the Houston Texans.

    Dak Prescott quarterbacked his way to a season-high 272 passing yards against the Washington Redskins, but there were again a series of drops by his targets that put them behind both the chains and the scoreboard. In the end, he tried to do too much and that's rarely ended well for him in the course of his short NFL career, just as it didn't on Oct. 21. Two fumbles awarded to the Redskins' defense and a 20-17 loss later and owner Jerry Jones had seen enough. It was time to put a spear through the heart of any thought the Cowboys could somehow stack wins without a definitive target for Prescott and defenses to key in on.

    Only six months into the experiment, the team gave up a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to bring in Cooper as the proposed can of Fix-A-Flat for a rapidly deflating tire.

    That is a little rich for the blood of most, my own personal tolerances putting the ceiling at a second-round pick. That said, there's a reason the Cowboys went full bore with the trade, and a large part of it stems from the weakness of the upcoming draft class. As it stands, heading into their bye week, Dallas is set to pick 10th-overall -- a point that is wholly irrelevant as we have this conversation in mid-October. The fact is this is an 8-8 team without Cooper, meaning they'd more realistically be penciled in around the 15th- or 16th-overall selection, pending any potential tiebreakers.

    Currently, there's no consensus top dog in that fight, and if you're looking to spend a mid-Day One pick on a wide receiver -- it better be a jackpot move. Here's a list of first-rounders over the last four seasons who were selected at the position league-wide:

    2015 - Amari Cooper, DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, Phillip Dorsett

    2016 - Corey Coleman, Laquon Treadwell, Will Fuller, Josh Doctson

    2017 - Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Davis

    2018 - Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore

    __

    Of those listed above with more than two NFL seasons in tow, Cooper is the only player who's delivered a 1,000-yard season, and he did it twice in his first two years -- being named to the pro bowl both times and the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2015. The remainder of the 2015 and 2016 draftees haven't come close to their draft status, Agholor landing in second place but still far behind Cooper, his career-high being 768 yards in his third season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Treadwell is still a work-in-unpleasant-progress and both Fuller and Doctson are No. 2 wideouts at best, with Coleman already a journeyman on his fourth team, now on the practice squad for the New England Patriots.

    In the latter two classes, you can toss Ross in the pile labeled "bust" along with Coleman and if the guy's name isn't Ridley, he's not worth discussing right now as a true potential No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. Mathematically, speaking, this group is abysmal on the whole. Allowing for more time on the last two draft classes -- for the sake of fairness -- that's still only one player in the previous nine picks who has proven himself capable of being the top guy, an 11% hit rate for league GMs at the position.

    The Cowboys opted to not select Ridley in 2018 due to a dire need at the linebacker position, and Leighton Vander Esch has proven he was the right call. In looking both backwards at the recent selections and forward at those coming out of college in 2019, landing on Cooper with a first-round tag begins to make a lot more sense. He was drafted fourth-overall for a reason, and there's no consensus talent matching his that's coming down the pipe. He's also only 24 years old, nearly one year younger than quarterback Dak Prescott and the same age as Ridley every year for half a year at a time, meaning the Cowboys virtually "drafted" a two-time pro bowler in his early 20's instead of wagering their potential mid-Day One pick on a rookie they hope can contribute next season.

    Additionally, they need to evaluate Prescott before contract talks begin and give one final swing at seeing what offensive coordinator Scott Linehan can do right now, and waiting to roll the dice on an unproven wideout next year does nothing for them in either regard.

    Oh, salary you say? I hear you.

    Yes, it'll cost the Cowboys more money on a contract with Cooper than a rookie deal over the next four or five years. He's owed $700,000 for the 2018 season, the final year of his rookie contract with the Raiders and his fifth-year option keeps him in Dallas through 2019. He'll land a hefty $13.924 million next season if the Cowboys don't extend him before then, but they'll also have nearly $70 million in available cap space, making it easy to carry that full load if they so chose. Any extension would obviously reduce that 2019 figure by quite a bit, making it a sensible move to go forward with one on a player they just gave up a first-rounder for.

    Cooper is the now and the later at the position, a longtime tandem with Michael Gallup and (hopefully) Cole Beasley setting up for some serious firepower at WR. Could they say the same had they kept the pick and used it on someone from the generally questionable 2019 draft class?

    Both history and future projections say no, and that's why they pulled the trigger. It was one step too high for me and probably you, but it's not like they gave up three picks for him (Roy Williams, circa 2003), the move on Cooper making much more sense on all fronts.

    It's also time to find out what Prescott, Linehan and head coach Jason Garrett are truly made of, and that alone is worth speeding 88 mph toward the clock tower during the current lightning storm.

    Lastly, speaking of trends, did you notice the number of wideouts selected in the first round decreased from five, to four, to three and then to two in 2018? Catch the hint there.

    Feel a bit better now? You should.

    Good talk.
    Gaining on .500

  2. #2
    Senior Member Simpleton's Avatar
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    I love how everybody is like, "hey, it's fine, look at all these 1st round WR's who haven't panned out recently", as if its completely normal and acceptable for the Cowboys to earmark their 1st rounder for a WR 6 months in advance.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member p1_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    I love how everybody is like, "hey, it's fine, look at all these 1st round WR's who haven't panned out recently", as if its completely normal and acceptable for the Cowboys to earmark their 1st rounder for a WR 6 months in advance.
    but we know that was the plan, right or wrong.
    Gaining on .500

  5. #4
    Senior Member mschmidt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    I love how everybody is like, "hey, it's fine, look at all these 1st round WR's who haven't panned out recently", as if its completely normal and acceptable for the Cowboys to earmark their 1st rounder for a WR 6 months in advance.
    Yeah.

    Like, oh, hey, WR was already the position we were gonna spend the pick on.

    Ignoring that maybe at 14 or 16 or whatever, maybe there is a Dewin James type player at safety, or a stud interior defensive lineman that we could surely use (in the absence of that, I'd sure like to have David Irving back for another 1 year deal). Or maybe we end up needing a center. Or another Zach Martin is available, an interior OL type that allows either Martin or Williams to kick out to tackle.

    It's discounting that maybe our better course of action is to select an All-Pro at guard or safety and get another Michael Gallup type in the second or third round. That's where you get a leg-up on the league. By getting the best values.

    Not locking yourself into "well, this is good enough with our first round pick." If Cooper isn't a Pro Bowl caliber WR here, both in talent AND actual production, then we have lost this deal.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton View Post
    I love how everybody is like, "hey, it's fine, look at all these 1st round WR's who haven't panned out recently", as if its completely normal and acceptable for the Cowboys to earmark their 1st rounder for a WR 6 months in advance.
    Especially since we just picked Gallup and he seems to be working out just fine. It's easy to cherry pick busts and any position and pretend like that's the player you could be getting. But it's also possible you get the next great receiver. It's what scouts are for.

  7. #6
    Senior Member 1bigfan13's Avatar
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    Two fumbles awarded to the Redskins' defense and a 20-17 loss later and owner Jerry Jones had seen enough. It was time to put a spear through the heart of any thought the Cowboys could somehow stack wins without a definitive target for Prescott and defenses to key in on.
    Insane how this idiotic staff thought our group of QBs would be able to thrive under these conditions. It takes an elite level QB in the mold of Brady and Rodgers to succeed with sub par receivers.

    Yes, it'll cost the Cowboys more money on a contract with Cooper than a rookie deal over the next four or five years. He's owed $700,000 for the 2018 season, the final year of his rookie contract with the Raiders and his fifth-year option keeps him in Dallas through 2019. He'll land a hefty $13.924 million next season if the Cowboys don't extend him before then, but they'll also have nearly $70 million in available cap space, making it easy to carry that full load if they so chose. Any extension would obviously reduce that 2019 figure by quite a bit, making it a sensible move to go forward with one on a player they just gave up a first-rounder for.
    I'm not so sure about this information. Is he considering the large contracts that Zeke and Lawrence will undoubtedly command. Both will easily be paid in the top 5 at their positions.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bigfan13 View Post
    Insane how this idiotic staff thought our group of QBs would be able to thrive under these conditions. It takes an elite level QB in the mold of Brady and Rodgers to succeed with sub par receivers.



    I'm not so sure about this information. Is he considering the large contracts that Zeke and Lawrence will undoubtedly command. Both will easily be paid in the top 5 at their positions.
    I don't think Zeke will get his extension this offseason. He will still have 2 years left before free agency.

    Lawrence is the one big name we need to get done after this year. Well unless you're Jerry and a Dak extension is already on your mind.

  9. #8
    Senior Member GShock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
    I don't think Zeke will get his extension this offseason. He will still have 2 years left before free agency.

    Lawrence is the one big name we need to get done after this year. Well unless you're Jerry and a Dak extension is already on your mind.
    I would not be surprised if Zeke doesn't get extended. We ran the tread off Barber and let him go. Ran the tread off Murray and let him go. No reason to suspect we won't do the same with Zeke. He was drafted to be the final piece for an offense that's not here anymore. Pick up his option year, then let him go.

  10. #9
    Senior Member mschmidt64's Avatar
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    Zeke will get an extension. He's way more talented than Barber, he's on par with the Adrian Peterson's of the world.

    No guarantees, running backs always COULD fall off way quicker than other positions, but you are gonna give this guy a second contract almost certainly.

  11. #10
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschmidt64 View Post
    Zeke will get an extension. He's way more talented than Barber, he's on par with the Adrian Peterson's of the world.

    No guarantees, running backs always COULD fall off way quicker than other positions, but you are gonna give this guy a second contract almost certainly.
    Absolutely. There aren't many RBs that you can say should get a second contract in this league, but he is definitely one of them.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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