After months of rumors, the Dallas Cowboys are striking a trade with the Houston Texans for star receiver Brandin Cooks. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cowboys are sending a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 sixth-round selection in exchange for Cooks.
Cooks still has two seasons remaining on a $39.7 million contract and was initially slated to have an $18 million salary in 2023. KPRC Houston’s Aaron Wilson reported that the Texans are paying $6 million of Cooks’ $18 million salary as part of the trade, leaving Dallas on the hook for $12 million of his money for next season.
The veteran wideout will have a $13 million salary in 2024, but the Cowboys have an out in his deal next offseason. Dallas would take an $8.1 million dead cap hit by releasing Cooks in 2024, per Spotrac. Cooks posted 57 receptions for 699 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season. Prior to his most recent campaign, Cooks had topped 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons.
The Brandin Cooks Deal Likely Removes Dallas as a Landing Spot for DeAndre Hopkins
The deal for Cooks likely ends the DeAndre Hopkins trade chatter, but it will be worth watching to see if Dallas remains in the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes. The Cowboys had been in talks with the Texans at last season’s trade deadline, but the two parties could not agree on the compensation or the portion of the wideout’s deal Houston would pay.
“It also takes two to tango when it comes to the trade deadline,” McClay explained during the January 23 edition of 105.3 The Fan’s “Cowboys Hour.” “If I want something, but you want more than I’m willing to give for it, it’s not going to work. And we tried to do certain things. There was an opportunity in this trade period, [we] talked about a receiver from Houston. They wanted way more than you wanted to give for him and he was making a whole lot more money than we wanted to pay.”
DeAndre Hopkins Was Willing to Take Less Money to Orchestrate Cowboys Trade, Says Insider
Dallas has now landed Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason by only giving up day-three draft picks. The Cowboys had been linked to bigger name receivers like Hopkins, but the compensation would likely have been higher. 105.3 The Fan’s Bobby Belt reported that Hopkins was willing to take a pay cut to join Dallas, but the feeling did not appear to be mutual.
“Sources have told 105.3 The Fan that Hopkins would welcome a trade to the Cowboys, and he’s willing to make financial concessions in order to achieve that end,” Belt wrote on March 17. “The Cowboys aren’t the only team Hopkins would like to play for, but they are certainly on his shortlist.
“But here’s the cold reality of all the Hopkins chatter: the Cowboys haven’t been nearly as invested in a potential marriage as Hopkins or many fans would hope. That’s not to say they couldn’t get involved at some point, but as of right now, there has been zero movement from the Cowboys side.”