Cap-Clearing Move For 'All In' Cowboys: Trade Brandin Cooks?

Cap-Clearing Move For ‘All In’ Cowboys: Trade Brandin Cooks?

Owner Jerry Jones stated the Cowboys are “all in” this season, cryptically announcing that somehow, this season might be different. If Dallas is to add talent – at whatever position – it’s going to need moves to create salary cap room.


The Dallas Cowboys had another familiar early exit from the playoffs in 2023, extending the team’s NFC Championship game draught to 29 seasons.

Owner Jerry Jones stated the Cowboys are “all in” this season, cryptically announcing that somehow, this season might be different. If Dallas is to add talent – at whatever position – it’s going to need cap room, currently around $4 million over the cap for next season.

One possibility to free up cap room, per Bleacher Report, is to trade wideout Brandin Cooks, and B/R offers a couple of possible destinations.

1. Cleveland Browns trade a 2024 fifth-round pick (from Philadelphia, 155th overall) for Cooks

“Cleveland needs receiver depth behind Cooper, and last year’s trade for Elijah Moore didn’t yield the desired return. Moore was decent enough as a complementary option (640 yards, 2 TDs), but he wasn’t great.

“Cooks would be a logical target for the Browns because he still possesses field-stretching speed and because of his prior experience playing with Deshaun Watson. The two spent the 2020 season together with the Houston Texans. Cooks finished that year with 1,150 yards and six touchdowns, while Watson made his last Pro Bowl appearance.”

Cooks and Watson have played together before, and they both thrived. Also, Dallas and Cleveland have done wide receiver business before, as the Cowboys dealt Amari Cooper to the Browns in March of 2022.

2. Baltimore Ravens trade a 2024 fifth-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick (from the Jets, 226th overall) for Cooks and a 2024 seventh-round pick (242nd overall)

“Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was again the league MVP in 2023. He showed continued growth as a passer under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, though the arrival of Nelson Agholor, Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers certainly helped too. Baltimore, though, could look to move on from Beckham. The 31-year-old will be a free agent next week, and he saw a reduced role in the offense late in the season.

“Cooks would be a logical replacement for Beckham in Baltimore’s lineup, given their similar skill set. His relatively reasonable salary could also benefit the Ravens, who have just $16.5 million in projected cap space.”

The Ravens are in “win now” mode, having just missed the Super Bowl last season by virtue of a 17-10 home loss to eventual champion Kansas City. They’re losing OBJ, who was a huge disappointment last season after earning $16 million for very little production.

Baltimore needs another veteran pass-catcher to play opposite Flowers, and Cooks could be the perfect fit.

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