With the 27th pick of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select 24-year-old WR Amari Cooper.
I get it. I really do. Why not fall in line with (almost) every other pundit out there and begin the assessment of the Dallas Cowboys 2019 NFL Draft class by pointing out (usually within the first paragraph) something along the lines about how the Cowboys NFL draft wasn’t that good without a first-round pick … and so on.
(ed note: that’s old-school for bull shit)
The Cowboys did have a first-round pick. They had the foresight, the ‘nads if you will, to spend it in the middle of last season to acquire their (now) WR1, Amari Cooper. The proper way to assess the pick is to evaluate what Dallas got with the trade of their selection versus what talent was on the board at pick number 27 of the first round:
- Pick 1/27 – Safety Johnathan Abram – Raiders
- Pick 1/28 – DT Jerry Tillery – LA Chargers
- Pick 1/32 – WR N’Keal Harry – Patriots
- Pick 2/4 – WR Tyshun Samuel – 49ers
- Pick 2/15 – Safety Marquise Blair – Seahawks
- Pick 2/19 – WR Arthur Brown – Titans
- Pick 2/25 – WR Jose Arcega-Whiteside – Eagles
When you compare the 24-year-old WR1 the Cowboys now have on their roster against the players above it’s a pretty easy call in my opinion.
Jerry hit it out of the park. Yes. That hurt to put in print.
But we left a wee bit of the arithmetic out of the formula. Dallas also gave up on 4-5 years of a CBA mandated rookie wage scale. The ‘Boys are going to have to pony up and pay Amari Cooper what he is worth some time this season, the next at the absolute latest. This means they won’t have the money to re-sign several of the following players who are set to become free agents in 2020:
- CB Byron Jones
- RT La’el Collins
- DE Robert Quinn
- ILB Jaylon Smith
- DT Maliek Collins
- QB Dak Prescott
- CB Anthony Brown
- WR Tavon Austin
- SS Justin Heath
- WR Randall Cobb
- LB Sean Lee
That is one hell of a list of 2020 free agents for the ‘Boys and it is not all of them. Bottom line, in order to pay Cooper the ‘boys will not be able to get to the next contract for a key player or two. DT Maliek Collins along with CB Anthony Brown are the most likely candidates. CB Byron Jones name is being bandied about as a casualty as well. That’s a big chunk of talent.
So, in reality, Dallas gave up a #1 pick AND the ability to resign a talented player (or three) the next season. That makes it less of a home run but still, a deal any team (except the Raiders) would want to happen. Cooper is the yin to Ezekiel Elliotts yang. Dak and Amari are on the same page and genuinely seem to like/respect each other. These are facts, not hopes.
End of the day you do have to consider the Cowboys first round pick when grading their 2019 NFL Draft and when you do … well … you still can’t accurately grade it until we find out if any of their other picks can actually translate their talent to the NFL level. What Cowboys Nation does know, and most teams do not, is that the Cowboys #1 pick has talent that does translate to the NFL and at an All-Pro level.
That’s not a home run, that’s a grand slam.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over