May 19, 2024

The Dallas Cowboys are considering a proposed trade that would involve sending veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This trade scenario, suggested by Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report, would see Cooks traded for a 2025 third-round draft pick. The motivation behind the potential trade lies in the Cowboys’ need to free up salary cap space for an impending contract extension for CeeDee Lamb, who is poised to become a key figure in their offense.

Cooks, who is entering the final year of a two-year, $39.6 million contract extension he signed with the Houston Texans, carries a base salary of $8 million for the 2024 season. Trading him after June 1 would alleviate this financial burden for the Cowboys, enabling them to allocate resources towards extending Lamb. Despite Cooks’ relatively quiet performance in terms of yards and catches last season, his ability to find the end zone and his track record of six 1,000-yard seasons in the NFL make him an attractive option for potential trade partners.

Davenport suggests that Cooks may be the most “realistic” trade target among several receivers mentioned in his article, which includes notable names like Deebo Samuel, Tee Higgins, DK Metcalf, Brandon Aiyuk, and Courtland Sutton. Cooks’ affordability and proven productivity make him an appealing option for teams seeking a reliable wideout.

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While the Steelers are identified as a potential landing spot for Cooks, given their need for another starting wide receiver following the departure of Diontae Johnson, the likelihood of the Cowboys agreeing to the trade remains uncertain. Despite the financial benefits, trading Cooks could leave the Cowboys thin at the wide receiver position, particularly after the release of Michael Gallup and with uncertainty surrounding other options like Jalen Tolbert. Additionally, the Cowboys have shown restraint in free agency to prioritize future contracts for key players like Lamb, Dak Prescott, and Micah Parsons.

Ultimately, while the Steelers may be interested in Cooks as an affordable option alongside George Pickens, it seems unlikely that the Cowboys will pursue the trade, as they view Cooks as a valuable complementary piece to Lamb for the upcoming season.

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