McKenzie said the trade "was an opportunity I couldn’t pass on, to get a first-round pick...I love Amari but I just felt it came down to getting the pick.”
When asked if anyone on the roster was untouchable, McKenzie responded with "I'm untouchable."
Veteran NFL analyst Ed Werder noted that team owner Jerry Jones' history of parting with first-round picks in exchange for veteran wide receivers has not been kind to the Cowboys:
Since Oakland selected Cooper with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, he has become one of the league's best young wideouts. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons, topping 1,000 yards each year and hauling in 11 total touchdowns.
Cooper played a key role in helping the franchise end a 13-year playoff drought in 2016.
The 6'1", 210-pound receiver had a down season in 2017, recording only 48 catches for 680 yards. While he did find the end zone seven times, he also missed two games due to a concussion and an ankle injury.
Cooper got off to another slow start this season, notching only 22 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown through the Raiders' first six games. He left the Raiders' Week 6 blowout loss against the Seattle Seahawks early due to a concussion.
Cooper proved early in his career that he could be a dynamic playmaker. In mid-April, McKenzie made it known that the team was interested in signing him to a new long-term deal.
"We've been in contact with his agent," McKenzie said, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. "I don't want to put anything out there, don't want to put the cart before the horse so to speak, but we like Amari."
Instead, McKenzie, Jon Gruden and Co. opted to move on from Cooper a few months after jettisoning Pro Bowl linebacker Khalil Mack.
Dallas is hoping a change of scenery can bring out the best in Cooper. If so, this deal has the potential to be a serious game-changer for the Cowboys, who are woefully thin at wide receiver otherwise.