One of the top priorities heading into the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys was re-signing star wide receiver Amari Cooper to a lucrative deal to keep him in the fold for the long haul. There was some uncertainty about the situation given how it lingered for a bit, but the team worked out a new contract for the Pro Bowler before the official start of free agency on Thursday. However, it was a process that didn’t come without a potential alternation in plans as the Washington Redskins pushed their way into the picture to make things quite interesting.
Amari Cooper stays with Cowboys
The plan for the Cowboys throughout the offseason was centered on getting new deals done with Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott.
Although Dallas was unable to agree to a multi-year deal with Prescott, they have his contract situation handled for at least the 2020 season with the use of the franchise tag. That also gives them the chance to work out a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.
Things were also at a bit of a standstill with Cooper as the two sides didn’t work out a five-year, $100 million deal to stay with the franchise. That gives him the highest-valued contract in league history for a wide receiver and makes him the second-highest paid player at his position behind Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones.
However, it wasn’t an entirely singular process as Cooper did have a massive offer on the table from the Redskins that could have changed things dramatically.
What Amari Cooper turned down from the Redskins
The contract talks between Cooper and the Cowboys remained quite fluid over the last several days, but there wasn’t any clarity on when a new deal would be worked out.
That led to the situation bleeding over past the franchise tag deadline on Monday, which opened the door to other teams jumping into the picture. One of which was the Redskins, who had reportedly made a significant offer to Cooper that would have put him in the same ballpark as the Falcons’ star wide receiver, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.
The Redskins’ presence in the conversation likely increased the Cowboys’ offer to close the financial gap in what was on the table. It also certainly helps that the state of Texas has no income tax, which allows Cooper to bring in more of his salary to even things up financially.
Dallas knew what they had to do, and that was to give Cooper a significant payday, and they shelled it out to keep him.
What’s next for the Cowboys?
The Cowboys have taken care of business by securing contracts with their two top free agents to keep their core group together heading into the first year under head coach Mike McCarthy.
However, that has come with some notable changes with some of their prominent free agents leaving elsewhere. Defensive end Robert Quinn has inked a five-year, $70 million deal with the Chicago Bears. Wide receiver Randall Cobb will join the Houston Texans on a three-year, $27 million contract and cornerback Byron Jones has agreed to a record-breaking five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.
These changes shift things a bit with the Cowboys likely going through the draft to add more talent at these respective positions. It does leave some significant spots to fill as each of these players played prominent roles that brought steady stability to the roster.
These were losses that were expected to come, but the Cowboys held firm and kept their two most important players this offseason in the mix moving forward in the 2020 season.