Most people agree the Cowboys paid too much to acquire Amari Cooper, but reports suggest the Philadelphia Eagles forced Jerry Jones to give up a first-rounder.
The Dallas Cowboys are getting widely criticized for giving up a first-rounder to bring Amari Cooper to the Big D. The reality is that if Dallas hadn’t offered the Oakland Raiders that kind of asset, Cooper might have ended up with a bitter NFC East rival.
Mike Silver of NFL Media is reporting that the Eagles were willing to send Jon Gruden a second-round pick to get a deal done. It’s very possible their involvement in the race to trade for Cooper forced the Cowboys to up their initial offer. The NFC East race is still up for grabs. Clearly, multiple teams in the division believe they are one player away from taking control.
Frankly, the Cowboys should have allowed the Eagles to make the move. Dallas isn’t going to make a big leap by adding Cooper to their mediocre offense. He will immediately become Dak Prescott’s top wide receiver, but Jason Garrett still doesn’t have enough weapons to make a deep playoff run. That’s why giving up a first-round pick just isn’t a solid value proposition for the Cowboys.
In sharp contrast, the Eagles’ willingness to part with a second-rounder makes a lot more sense. Doug Pederson’s team is squarely in the midst of a Super Bowl hangover, but they’re still the most talented team in the NFC East. It’s easy to understand how adding Cooper to their offense could have put Philadelphia over the top.
This whole saga still goes down as a solid victory for the Eagles front office. They didn’t end up with Cooper on their team, but they did significantly weaken the Cowboys’ ability to add big time talent to their roster in the near future. Jones and the rest of the Dallas front office will really feel the sting of this deal when they enter April’s draft without a first-round selection.
In the NFL, some of the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That’s exactly what happened to the Eagles here. They bid the Cowboys up for Cooper. That’s almost as good as winning the bidding themselves.