Dallas Cowboys acquire wide receiver Amari Cooper from Oakland Raiders
The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders for a 2019 first-round pick.
The move gives the Raiders five first-round picks over the next two years: Three in 2019 and two in 2020. They had already acquired first-rounders in 2019 and 2020 in a preseason deal with the Chicago Bears in exchange for defensive end Khalil Mack.
"He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That's what it came down to," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the phone call from Cowboys president Stephen Jones regarding Cooper.
ESPN reported Sunday that the Cowboys had done extensive work on Cooper as a possible trade target, and that the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts had also shown interest in the wideout. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden previously told reporters Cooper was not being shopped, but multiple reports indicated Oakland would take a first-rounder for him.
"It's a trade that we feel it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass on to get a first-round pick," McKenzie said. "In this business here, I thought that was invaluable for me. It was something I felt like I had to do. It was something I felt like I had to do."
Yahoo Sports reported after Monday's deal that other teams were not willing to offer Oakland a first-rounder. McKenzie said business went "a little haywire" after media caught wind of the other offers coming in on Cooper.
Cooper, 24, went to the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons after the Raiders took him fourth overall in 2015, but he had a disappointing 2017 campaign and has been up and down this year. Currently recovering from a concussion sustained in London against the Seahawks in Week 6, Cooper has 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in six games.
The Cowboys are entering their bye week, giving Cooper two weeks to prepare for his first game with Dallas.
He has 225 grabs for 3,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in 52 career games (47 starts), with 155 catches, 2,223 yards and 11 scores coming from 2015-16.
Cooper is in the fourth year of his rookie contract and is due $13.9 million in 2019 on his fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, before being scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency.
The trade comes 10 years and eight days after the Cowboys dealt first-, third-, sixth- and seventh-round picks to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver Roy Williams, who went on to total 1,324 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 40 games (29 starts) over three-plus seasons with the Cowboys.
Dallas also traded two first-round picks to the Seattle Seahawks for wideout Joey Galloway in 2000, but Galloway tore his ACL in his first game with the team and totaled 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns in 48 games (46 starts) over four seasons.
The deal leaves Oakland with just three of its own first-round picks on the roster: safety Karl Joseph (2016), cornerback Gareon Conley (2017) and left tackle Kolton Miller (2018).
Joseph is also reportedly on the trade block, while Conley and quarterback Derek Carr are not expected to be traded, according to an NFL Network report.