Jason Garrett’s defense of the Amari Cooper trade has one glaring hole
Outside of Dallas, the consensus seems to be that the Raiders won the Amari Cooper trade. Many were shocked that the Cowboys were willing to give up a first-round pick for an underperforming player, but Jason Garrett explained the rationale behind the trade on Tuesday.
Via USA TODAY Sports:
“I do believe we’ve done a good job selecting guys in the first round and they’re cornerstone players on our team. And we really believe that Amari can be that kind of a guy.
“Again he’s 24 years old. He has a lot of ability to play his position. We believe he’s the right kind of guy. We think he has a bright future. The value for a player like that at his age, that’s really what it costs you. It costs you a first-round pick.”
“If we were to get him in the draft next spring, you would say: ‘Boy, is there any receiver who is as good as a guy like Amari Cooper?’ ” Garrett continued. “He’s not 28, 29, 30. You’re not paying for a guy for what he’s done for the past six, seven, eight years for another team. We feel like he has it in front of him and he can really benefit our team going forward.”
Yes, Cooper is still very young and could give the Cowboys the kind of production they would expect from a first-round pick. That’s not the issue most have with the trade. The issue most people have is that Cooper has one year left on his rookie contract and will be seeking a significant raise next offseason.
First-round picks aren’t valuable simply because they are young and talented; first-round picks are valuable because they are young, talented and CHEAP. If Cooper is what the Cowboys are expecting him to be, he won’t be cheap. If he isn’t, he might be cheap but will have not been worth a first-round pick. The only way this trade really works out is if Cooper ends up being a top-10 receiver and that’s just nothing to suggest that will happen.
Cooper hasn’t been productive in two years. Even when he was productive, he wasn’t that productive. The 2015 first-round pick has never topped 1,200 yards or six touchdowns in a single season. There’s also the drop issue, which can’t be ignored.
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