Commanders

Cooper is leaving Dallas. Washington won't miss facing him

Commanders
Amari Cooper vs. Washington

Commanders fans, rejoice.

After three and a half seasons with the Cowboys, Dallas has agreed to trade star wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. The Cowboys and Browns will additionally swap sixth-rounders. The trade can not become official until the new league year begins on March 16th.

For the Cowboys, moving on from Cooper was not a decision made based on production. Rather, it likely had to do with money.

Cooper is entering the third year of a five-year, $100 million deal he signed to remain in Dallas in 2020. He's due $20 million in each of the next three seasons and carries a $20 million cap hit each year, too. If the Cowboys were unable to find a trade partner, the expectation was that Cooper was going to be released.

That loud exhale that you just heard? It came from the nation's capital. No one is happier than Washington fans that Cooper is now out of Dallas and the NFC East.

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Since arriving in Dallas, Cooper had some of his biggest games against the Burgundy and Gold. He annually torched Washington's secondary and was a consistent presence in the end zone, leaving Washington cornerbacks often confused, finger-pointing and heads shaking.

A midseason trade acquisition in 2018, Cooper recorded eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas' Week 12 victory over Washington, just Cooper's fourth game with the team. He was just getting started there, too.

From 2018 to 2021, Cooper played against Washington seven times. In those matchups, the wideout averaged 5.9 receptions and 92 yards per contest. In those seven games, Cooper found the end zone a total of six times. The former Alabama star has scored more touchdowns against Washington than any other team in his career.

In two games against Washington this past season, Cooper recorded a total of 12 catches for 136 yards. He scored a touchdown in each of the contests, too. The Commanders simply had no answer for Cooper -- not just last year but throughout his entire tenure in Dallas.

Now in Cleveland, Washington won't face Cooper again until the 2024 season, the final year of his current contract (unless the two teams meet in the Super Bowl).

Despite moving on from Cooper, Dallas still has a solid wide receiver room. CeeDee Lamb is a rising star and the Cowboys believe he's a future No. 1 wideout, if not already. The team has also agreed to re-sign Michael Gallup -- solid No. 2 wideout -- on a five-year deal. So although Cooper is still gone, Dak Prescott still has two excellent targets to throw to.

It's worth a reminder that Washington made an aggressive pitch to sign Cooper during free agency in 2020. It's been widely reported that Ron Rivera and his staff offered the wideout more money than Dallas did, but Cooper chose to remain with the Cowboys with the hope to win a championship.

Two years later, Dallas has moved on. And no one is happier about it than supporters of the Burgundy and Gold.