The Redskins attempted to make a franchise-altering move by chasing star wide receiver Amari Cooper early in free agency. Redskins head coach Ron Rivera admitted as such a few weeks later.
However, Cooper decided to re-sign with the Cowboys despite Washington offering the four-time Pro Bowler a larger contract than the one he ended up taking.
In a recent episode of the Redskins Talk podcast, Cowboys beat reporter Newy Scruggs explained why he believes Cooper turned down more money from the Redskins to stay with Dallas.
"I just think he used Washington for the leverage to get [the money] he wanted," Scruggs said. "He said all the time he wanted to play for the Cowboys."
Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Cowboys, one the team can opt-out of after the second season. Washington was reported to offer slightly more than that, but there's no income tax in Texas. By taking less money with Dallas, Cooper could still pocket more with his Cowboys deal than the one he would have signed with the Redskins.
Scruggs also believes that playing for the Cowboys, a big brand in a large market that is nicknamed "America's team" played a role in the 25-year-old's decision.
"A lot of what the Cowboys are is what he came from Alabama, it's a name," Scruggs said. "You're on TV all the time. This guy likes it."
In 2020, the Cowboys have five primetime games, not including their annual Thanksgiving clash (which happens to be against the Redskins this season). On the other hand, the only time the Redskins will play in front of a national TV audience is on the holiday.
This upcoming season will be the first time the Redskins don't have a primetime game since 1982.
Another factor that Scruggs believes drove Cooper to re-sign with Dallas over Washington is the stability of each team's quarterbacks.
Dallas QB Dak Prescott has been one of the NFL's best passers over the past two seasons, and the addition of Cooper has been a major reason why. When the wideout was a member of the Oakland Raiders, his production was full of ups and downs, mainly due to the inconsistent play of passer Derek Carr.
Since joining Dallas, he's had a lot steadier play from his quarterback. As a result, his production has improved dramatically. The 2019 season was Cooper's first full year with the Cowboys, and the wideout turned in his best campaign to date, finishing with a career-high in yards (1,189) and touchdowns (8).
Meanwhile, the Redskins quarterback situation is uncertain. Second-year passer Dwayne Haskins showed promise towards the end of his rookie season, but the jury is still out on him. Washington traded for Kyle Allen this offseason, a solid backup who knows new offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system well and can start if needed. Neither one of those passers is currently close to Prescott's level.
"Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott have a very good chemistry with one another," Scruggs said. "I don't think Cooper, especially coming out of Oakland, wanted to go to another situation that was unstable. I think that's why Cooper decided to stay right where he is with the star on his helmet."
When weighing all those factors, Scruggs explains that Cooper's decision to stay with the Cowboys didn't appear to be a difficult one.
"I think Amari Cooper got exactly what he wanted and the Cowboys got what they wanted," Scruggs said. "I think it's a win-win situation."
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