Amari Cooper

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Amari Cooper Trade

Coach ‘em up, Jason.

October 23, 2018 - 9:41 am
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The Oakland Raiders traded Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first round pick. I repeat the Oakland Raiders traded Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first round pick. I repeat that for a number of reasons. 

First off, according to reports, Jon Gruden did not tell his players about the deal, so if any of them are listening and they were planning to see Coop around the facility or in town today, that’s not happening. He’s already gone. Sorry, fellas.

Secondly, if trading Khalil Mack was a whack move, this was actually a genius move. Oakland has been jonesing to trade Amari Cooper for a while now and they actually got someone to give them a first round pick for him. And of course that team was the Dallas Cowboys.

Let me start with the Raiders perspective. That trade is the official announcement that they are packing C-4 next to the foundations of this Oakland team and blowing it up. This is a full-on rebuild and nobody in silver and black is safe. Mack is gone. Cooper is gone.  How long before they break Derek Carr off?

Then the question becomes, was that the plan all along? Did Jon Gruden look at the roster before taking the job and tell Mark Davis, your 53 are garbage, I’m dropping a bomb on it. If so, that’s curious, because Mark Davis was bumping his gums about winning a world championship before bouncing from the Bay Area. And while that’s laughable right now, considering they might be the worst team in the league, it didn’t see to be that big of a joke when he said it: after all, they did win 12 games and make the playoffs just two years ago. And he was bringing in the alleged smartest guy ever and paying him $100 mill. So either Davis knew this was how this was going to go, and lied out his ass, or he had no idea what the hell he was doing or saying.. 

And even if Gruden didn’t know, and showed up and realized that almost none of his guys could play, fine, just admit it. Just own it. Just shoot everyone straight with it.

And that’s the only way to go at this point. They aren’t better than they were at the start of the season. In fact, they’ve gotten worse. This trade is easily their biggest win of the season. 

So now we’re to assume Gruden has a plan. Great. But do you trust this guy to execute the plan? Yes, I know he’s stockpiling draft picks. But what good is that, if you’re not known for drafting and developing young talent, and he’s not. Draft picks aren’t worth a damn if you don’t know what to do with them. And, identifying talent and developing it has never been Chuck’s bag. But it better be now. 

And then there’s the Dallas perspective…

The secret to a great trade is to find someone more desperate than you. In other words, find a bigger sucker than you. And there isn’t a bigger bunch of suckers and saps than the Dallas Cowboys. This is shades of the Roy Williams trade, you know, the one that Jerry Jones reportedly regretted, and the one he’s practically done all over again.

The Raiders would’ve taken pennies on the dollar for Cooper and instead, the Cowboys gave them dollars on the penny. Hell, they gave them Franklins on the penny. 

I know other teams were allegedly offering them a second round pick, but to just go all the way to a first rounder? And I know that next year’s draft isn’t shaping up to be a wide receiver bonanza, but given the way that teams normally treat first round picks like gold, if you give up one of those, you better be getting Khalil Mack in return. 

Instead they got a receiver who might be good, but hasn’t been for a season and a half. And a guy who’s commitment to the game has been questioned. 

A first round pick for a guy who hasn’t been the same player since 2016, a guy who had two games north of 115 yards and four games below 20 yards this season.

Oh, and if that doesn’t make you want to send a first rounder for him, get this: he also suffered a concussion in Week 6. And has a bad case of the drops. 

And he’s going to be due a large contract extension and it’s pretty hard to justify trading a first round pick for a guy and then not giving him that fat extension. So you better hope he produces. You better hope that he and Dak Prescott become the next Aikman and Irvin. As if either has any shot of that happening. 

And that’s before we get to the fact that Cooper does most of his best work in the slot and Dallas already has Cole Beasley in the slot. 

And the Cowboys still wanted to make the deal. The Raiders had to be freaking out. Are you serious? Jerry, you really want to make this trade? I’m not here for prank calls. If you’re yanking my chain, get off the phone now.

It’s like the Raiders were giving Dallas the Carfax report on Cooper: four games under 20 yards…commitment is questioned… nobody really knows what happened to him… has a concussion… and the Cowboys kept nodding and saying, yep, this is our guy. 

Yes, I know the argument that the Cowboys offense is better today than it was this time yesterday. It better be. They just gave up a first round pick, one that could be in the top 15 for a receiver. It damn well better be better. And I know the argument that this gives them a shot to win the NFC East, again, it better. You make a move like this and you better take a big step. That’s a big swing and a baby step wouldn’t match it. 

But the deal is a complete admission that Dallas has totally and utterly mismanaged their wide receiver situation. I guess whole wideout by committee strategy isn’t really working, eh, Jerruh? Who could’ve possibly seen that coming?

I’m not sure if this is about saving Dak or saving Jason Garrett. Or both. But if I’m the Cowboys, I’m hoping the answer is both. Or else this deal is even worse than expected. Coach ‘em up, Jason.