May 27, 2024

Analyst Suggests Cowboys’ $39 Million Receiver Could Face Trade Talks

The Dallas Cowboys are facing salary cap constraints, prompting speculation about potential trades within the franchise. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report compiled a list of three players the Cowboys might consider trading or releasing this offseason.

Leading the list is wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who enters the final season of his two-year, $39.7 million contract with a $10 million cap hit in 2024.

In a May 8, 2024 article titled “Cowboys’ Potential Trade, Cut Candidates After 2024 NFL Draft,” Ballentine wrote, “Brandin Cooks is a talented receiver, but his track record suggests he might be traded once again. He currently shares the record with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson as the most-traded player in the league since 1980.”

Ballentine added, “… Trading the veteran receiver could save the Cowboys $8 million against the 2024 salary cap if done after June 1. Despite not selecting a receiver until the sixth round, the Cowboys may see potential in Ryan Flournoy, a 6’1”, 202-pound receiver with 4.44 speed and promise as an FCS prospect.

“If they believe Flournoy can contribute immediately and anticipate a breakout from Jalen Tolbert, they might consider Cooks expendable in the offense.”

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Although Cooks had his worst statistical season since 2021, catching 54 passes for 657 yards and 8 touchdowns in 16 games for the Cowboys in 2023, there’s a growing connection between him and quarterback Dak Prescott. Five of Cooks’ 8 touchdowns came in the final seven regular-season games.

However, it might not be wise for Dallas to part ways with Cooks. The team released Michael Gallup in the offseason and hasn’t yet signed a veteran replacement. Relying on Flournoy to contribute immediately might be overly optimistic, especially considering the need for Jalen Tolbert to step up alongside CeeDee Lamb and Cooks.

Following the draft, the Cowboys have shown interest in signing additional wide receivers, meeting with Zay Jones after his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jones is also set to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs on May 9, potentially increasing competition for his services.

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