The Dallas Cowboys have faced plenty of scrutiny for not making big off-season moves in years prior. So far this off-season, the Cowboys have managed to restructure the contracts of Zach Martin, Dak Prescott, Demarcus Lawrence, Michael Gallup, and Tyron Smith. Those moves opened up around $40 million in cap space alone. Dallas also released former rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott opening an additional $10.9 million in cap space.
So where did that put the Cowboys? This allowed them to add five-time Pro Bowler Stephon Gilmore via trade with the Colts for only a fifth-round pick in 2023. However, Dallas is not done and has made a big move by acquiring former Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. It cost the Cowboys a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024. So what does this move do for Dallas overall? Let’s discuss this.
Brandin Cooks Makes The Cowboys Better
Dallas needed to improve their offense after yet another disappointing end to a season in 2022. Adding Cooks is a move that was looked into last off-season but never gained traction. Now, Cooks will line up opposite of CeeDee Lamb and make this offense even more dynamic.
Dallas has Michael Gallup but even after his return from an ACL injury, Gallup was nowhere near his usual production level. However, Gallup will be back to normal after even more time to heal. Cooks now provides some relief for both Lamb and Gallup as a big-play receiver.
In his career, Cooks has accumulated 8,616 receiving yards and 49 touchdowns. He has plenty left in the tank and now Dak has another reliable weapon. Moving on from Zeke all but confirms that Dak is going to be the reason this team wins games. Adding Cooks adds to the confidence of the franchise that Dak needed one more weapon to throw to.
Brandin Cook’s Role For The Cowboys
The ideal role for Cooks at this point of his career is a solid wide receiver two spot. Obviously, he will have to compete with Michael Gallup for that spot but it is worth the trouble. However, I think Cooks all but locks up the second receiver slot and moves Gallup to the third spot.
Gallup is still trying to bounce back from injury, Cooks is coming off a year that still ended with 699 receiving yards despite having no help at quarterback. Now that Cooks has a higher caliber quarterback in Dak, Cooks should easily break the 1,000-yard mark in 2023. Giving Cooks a big role in this offense is the confidence boost and change of scenery he needs to move on from his days in Houston.
As a Cowboys fan, this move excites me big time. First Dallas added Stephon Gilmore but then they made the big money moves by freeing cap space to make another splash by acquiring Cooks. This offense might look a little different without Ezekiel Elliott but Tony Pollard is the new lead back in Dallas and adding Cooks all but strengthens this roster even without Zeke.
By the time camp rolls around, Cooks should have no issues adjusting to an offense designed to make him succeed. Dallas making this move shows they are “all in” for 2023. Surrounding Dak Prescott with another elite receiver has to bring confidence into that locker room. These are the kind of moves that put your team into the “serious contender” category that Dallas needed to be in. Only time will tell if Brandin Cooks was the final missing piece the Boys needs to make the jump past the divisional round for the first time since 1996.