Brandin Cooks on fourth trade: I’ve never gotten upset because it means someone wants me
The Cowboys set out this offseason to add a receiver who could take the top off. They found that in Brandin Cooks, making a deal with Houston that will give them another offensive weapon.
The Cowboys gave up a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024 for Cooks, whose contract was restructured so the Texans will pay $6 million of his guaranteed $18 million salary in 2023.
Dallas showed interest in trading for Cooks at the trade deadline, when Cooks made it clear to Houston he wanted out, but it didn’t happen for another five months.
“Before the deadline, there was talk. It didn’t happen, but great things [are] better late than never,” Cooks said. “I’m extremely excited I really am. I think it’s a great fit. You talk about a world-class organization. I look forward to being a part of [it], and I think it’s going to be a special place.”
It marks the fourth time that Cooks has been traded. He went from the Saints to the Patriots, the Patriots to the Rams, the Rams to the Texans and now the Texans to the Cowboys.
Counting the draft-day trade in 2014, he has gone for two first-round picks, a second-rounder, two third-rounders, a fifth-rounder and two sixth-rounders. John Brown, Trey Hendrickson, Ryan Ramczyk, Isaiah Wynn and Van Jefferson are among the players drafted with the picks acquired in trades for Cooks.
“I’ve really never gotten upset, because obviously that means someone out there wants me to be a part of their group,” Cooks said. “Fortunate enough to go for some great draft picks. I think I’m just fortunate enough to be able to play with so many great organizations and make an impact in this league everywhere I’ve been. I think it’s special because it means I didn’t get to free agency. People are jumping up and down to get to me before I get there. That’s the way I look at it. I look at it in a positive light.”
Cooks, a first-round draft selection of the Saints in 2014, had New Orleans trade him to the Patriots in 2017 to get it in position to draft Ramczyk. The Patriots traded him to the Rams in 2018, because they didn’t want to give him a long-term deal. The Rams traded him to the Texans in 2020 after two concussions. The Texans traded him because he and the team got sideways after it fired Jack Easterby, and he made it clear he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild.
“I don’t know,” Cooks said when asked why he has been traded so much. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I really can’t answer that, honestly. I mean you can ask my teammates and any coaches I’ve been a part of, and I would think they would say I’ve been one of the best teammates they’ve had. There’s a reason why so many teams have tried to come back and trade for me. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
He caught 57 passes for 699 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games for the Texans last season. In his career with the Saints, Patriots, Rams and Texans, Cooks has 630 receptions for 8,616 yards and 49 touchdowns.