The Dallas Cowboys will not commit to having Amari Cooper on the roster in 2022. At least not yet.
We've already discussed the options Dallas has with Cooper and how it's a complicated situation, but on Monday it got even more dicey. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones refused to address Cooper's future, claiming that conversations were ongoing.
Jerry Jones has already expressed frustration with Cooper's 2021 campaign. The receiver was making $20 million but didn't produce to that level. He caught 68 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. That was a drop-off from back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. CeeDee Lamb has surpassed Cooper as the team's top target.
Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Cowboys in March of 2020. He's still one of the NFL's highest-paid receiver. Cooper's cap hit for every year of the deal is $22 million, and if the Cowboys cut or trade him before June 1 he'll have a dead cap hit of $6 million. If they make a move after June 1, that hit will be spread over 2022 and 2023 ($2 million in 2022, $4 million in 2023). The Cowboys enter the offseason at more than $21 million over the cap, so cuts will be coming.
The issue for the Cowboys would be how cutting Cooper will impact Dak Prescott. The team's franchise quarterback would be losing one of his top options and a receiver he has a ton of chemistry with. Would they risk upsetting Prescott -- who they just signed to a four-year, $160 million deal -- to save some cash? Frankly, they might have to.
The fact that the Joneses won't give Cooper an endorsement does not bode well for his future in Big D.