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Cowboys' Jerry Jones Calls Amari Cooper a 'Top Player' After Trading WR to Browns

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 23, 2022

Amari Cooper (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Team owner Jerry Jones praised former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, Amari Cooper, following his trade to the Cleveland Browns.

Jones discussed why the franchise moved on from Cooper, who's tallied 219 yards and two touchdowns in his first three games with the Browns, Friday on 105.3 The Fan radio (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News).

"The issue with Amari Cooper was how much we were paying him and what we could do with that money, completely," Jones said. "Amari Cooper is a real good player. Top player."

He added, "you can't have it all" when it comes to building a roster within the salary cap.

Cooper's early success in Cleveland combined with Dallas' mediocre offensive performance through two games has reignited questions about why the team decided to deal the wideout in return for a fifth-round draft pick and a sixth-round pick swap.

The Cowboys have maintained it was a financially motivated move related to his five-year, $100 million contract, but the Browns restructured the deal shortly after the trade to save over $15 million in cap space for the 2022 season, leaving his cap hit at $4.9 million.

Dallas currently has $12.5 million in cap space, the third-most in the NFL, per Spotrac.

"It's not like I disliked being in Dallas," Cooper told reporters after the trade. "I actually loved being there. I wouldn't say I just wanted to leave. But you know, at the same time, it's never personal. It's just business."

The Cowboys' offense has been heavily impacted by injuries, most notably the absences of quarterback Dak Prescott and two key receivers, Michael Gallup and James Washington. The unit would nevertheless be stronger if Cooper was still on the roster.

Meanwhile, the four-time Pro Bowl selection is operating as the Browns' unquestioned No. 1 target during the team's 2-1 start. He's recorded 27 targets, 11 more than the next highest pass-catcher, tight end David Njoku.

Dallas' offense should eventually find its stride assuming all of the key contributors are eventually on the field at the same time, so the situation could eventually become a moot point.

For now, the Cowboys decision to move on from Cooper isn't aging all the well so far.

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