MARCH 20: Upon acquiring the oft-traded wideout, the Cowboys restructured his deal. They moved $8MM of Cooks’ $12MM 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. Cooks’ cap number will drop to $6MM in 2023, per Archer. It had resided at $12.4MM. Two void years are now attached to the 10th-year receiver’s deal, Archer adds (on Twitter). Cooks’ 2024 base salary is now $8MM — down from $13MM.
MARCH 19: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been traded once again. The Texans have agreed to send the 29-year-old to the Cowboys, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Schefter’s ESPN colleague, Jeremy Fowler, first reported that the two sides were working on a deal, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds that Dallas is giving up a 2023 fifth-round choice (No. 161) and a 2024 sixth-rounder in the swap (Twitter links).
Cooks is under contract through 2024, and he is due a fully-guaranteed $18MM base salary in 2023. That number — along with the Texans’ ask of a second-round pick — became an obstacle in trade talks involving Cooks at last year’s trade deadline, as interested clubs wanted Houston to pay down a significant portion of Cooks’ salary. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2, the Texans will pay $6MM of Cooks’ $18MM salary to facilitate the deal (Twitter link).
Cooks, a first-round pick of the Saints in 2014, was traded to the Patriots in March 2017, to the Rams in April 2018, and to the Texans in April 2020. In six of his nine professional seasons, the Oregon State product has topped 1,000 receiving yards, and his career 13.7 yards-per-reception rate is indicative of his status as a vertical threat. Over his first two seasons with the Texans, Cooks averaged roughly 85 catches and 1,100 yards per year.
However, things began to go south in 2022. Clearly frustrated by the Texans’ lack of competitiveness during his tenure in Houston, Cooks publicly expressed his frustration that he was not dealt to a winning club at the deadline, and he stepped away from the Texans for a week, missing the team’s Week 9 contest against the Eagles. At the time, he also made reference to organizational changes that upset him — which may have included the dismissal of former EVP Jack Easterby — and he said, “I don’t know everything that goes through [GM Nick Caserio’s] head.”
Even though Cooks remained on the Texans through the end of the 2022 campaign, it was reported in January that Houston was expected to accommodate his standing trade request this offseason. And the Cowboys, who made a push for Cooks at the deadline in an effort to supplement a WR corps that was clearly missing Amari Cooper — who was traded himself in March 2022 — finally got their man. ESPN’s Ed Werder says multiple teams were in pursuit of Cooks and appeared close to acquiring him, but Dallas was Cooks’ preferred destination (Twitter link).
Cooks, who has 58 receptions of 25+ yards downfield since he entered the league in 2014 — second only to Tyreek Hill during that span, as Werder tweets — should serve as a quality complement to CeeDee Lamb in a potentially explosive offense in Dallas. Although it appears that the team is parting ways with tight end Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys have 2022 fourth-rounder Jake Ferguson on the roster and could further supplement the position in a TE-rich draft. Lamb, Cooks, and Michael Gallup form a quality WR trio, and franchise-tagged Tony Pollard is a terrific weapon in the backfield.
The Texans, meanwhile, gain additional draft capital to aid in their rebuilding efforts in exchange for a player who wanted out. Houston — which coincidentally signed former Cowboy Noah Brown a few days ago — presently houses Robert Woods, Nico Collins, and 2022 second-rounder John Metchie III atop its WR depth chart.
29 comments on “Cowboys Acquire WR Brandin Cooks From Texans”
It’s the reverse Amari Cooper trade. Good job, Cowboys!
They had more faith in Gallup when they traded cooper and now see he isn’t anything More then a 3/4 wr.
He was coming off an ACL which he suffered in January of the same year.
Seems like a good move for the Cowboys. Much smarter than bringing the OBJ circus to town.
Does anyone know, was he traded to the Texans in April of 2021? Seems like he was there for longer than April 2022 til now
As an Eagle fan, I hate to say it but this is the second really good trade by the cowboys this week. This will be a great #3 option behind Lamb and Gallup
Cooks will def be #2 lol
Cooks the #2!
Nifty #2 receiver, makes everyone else on their depth chart look better pushed down a level. Amazing what you can do when you’re not paying that much money to your worn down second best running back.
This soon-to-be 30 year old receiver wasn’t worth a 2nd round pick, but a 5th and a 6th doesn’t sound like enough. I would have asked for a mid-range pick that could have conditionally turned into something better/worse based on his 2023 performance.
It’s the massive contract that he isn’t worth is the reason for the crappy draft picks. Houston still had to include cash to dump him.
This makes Caserio look pretty bad….settling for a 5th & 6th and eating $6M after not trading him last year because he insisted on a 2nd rounder. Furthermore, Cooks was instrumental in that last touchdown drive that screwed the Texans draft. Pathetic. Cooks is still very effective, I can’t believe that eating $6M can’t result in at least a 4th round pick.
Probably could have had the fourth but then no second pick. Fifth and sixth might be better than a single fourth. Fourth and seventh would be nicer. Single third should have been in reach after paying out the $6 million.
Cowboys are still the most overrated team in the NFC! Will NOT win the division & probably miss the playoffs.
If I had a rolling eye emoji option it would go right here.
You are the reason humans have two middle fingers
I dislike the Cowboys based on history and rivalry, but must admit their off-season moves have been impressive. That offense will be a fast-scoring threat to reckon with.
Yep, impressive. Signed, nervous Redskins, err Commanders, fan. Oh, the Texans getting two late round picks makes sense. Yes? If they don’t eat that 6 mil, they only would’ve maybe got a 4th in this year’s draft?
He sure does get traded alot.
Still got Dak at QB though
Why does this dude keep getting traded? Is it like an inside joke now? Most NFL players never get traded and he’s been traded like five times.
I think Cooks best football is behind him but he’s still a vertical threat.
Cooks has good hands. 68% catch ratio, lots of deep catches. Cooks plays good football. Must be a lot of trouble in the locker room and in training though.
For a team that blew a 2nd rounder on Jalen Tolbert just one year ago, getting someone like Cooks for a 5th, 6th, and 2/3rds the salary is a pretty decent move. Notwithstanding the age difference, I like Cooks vs Cooper too.
Tolbert was drafted towards the end of the 3rd round.. and calling a mid round pick a bust after 1 season isn’t very wise..
I do stand corrected on the draft pick; he was drafted at 3.88. However, 2 receiptions for 12 yards in eight games on a team needing all sorts of help at the WR position, a healthy scratch for most of the season (no injury to blame it on), and now the team has acquired a soon-to-be 30 y.o. WR, I’m OK with my analysis. I’m not hating on the kid, just pointing out with a wide open opportunity, nothing was made of it. Good for him if he proves me and others wrong. A lot was made of how disappointing of a first season Skyy Moore put up and he being from a smaller school as well (Western Michigan vs South Alabama) but he did something at least.
Brandin will be the only player with the surname of COOKS on the Cowboys final roster.
Because too may COOKS spoil the broth.