According to a report by Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to retain Amari Cooper for the upcoming NFL season.
Cooper, who signed a five-year $100 million contract with Dallas in 2020, has the first two years guaranteed for skill, injury, and salary cap. The $20 million salary that Cooper is owed this upcoming season becomes fully-guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year in March.
“According to league sources not authorized to speak publicly, the Cowboys haven’t made a decision on what they’re going to do, but most expect them to retain Cooper,” Wilson wrote on January 26. “The plan is to continue to evaluate his performance along with the other players on the roster and then make decisions.
“While one source predicted the Cowboys ultimately move on from Cooper and lean even more heavily on CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup when he returns from a knee injury, a torn ACL, another expressed confidence that Cooper isn’t going anywhere.”
Jerry Jones vents frustrations with Amari Cooper
If Cowboys trade or release Cooper before June 1, they would save $16 million against the salary cap and leave $6 million in dead money. Should he leave after June 1, Dallas would free up $20 million and leave $2 million in dead cap.
Cowboys are $21 million over the salary cap heading into the offseason, and owner Jerry Jones recently vented his frustrations at Cooper’s dip in performance in a January 21 interview with 105.3 The Fan. Jones declined to comment on Cooper’s contract, but gave an extensive answer regarding his wide receiver’s poor showing in the playoffs.
“I don’t have any comment on Cooper’s contract,” Jones said. “I thought that we were playing early when we did make something happen, I thought Cooper had a big part in that. And I’m not being trite, but how he fits in and should take half the field with him when he goes and runs the field. Not half, that’s an exaggeration, of course. But a whole bunch of that defense should have to honor Cooper.
“Not half, half is an exaggeration, of course, but a whole bunch of that defense should have to honor Cooper. And he ought to be able to catch it in the middle of when they’re going with him. Others do. You throw to people that are covered all the time in the NFL. You have to. Most people don’t have the numbers of receivers we’ve had.”