NFL News & Analysis

Dallas Cowboys reportedly "likely" to release WR Amari Cooper before free agency

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) in action during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are “likely” to release star wide receiver Amari Cooper before the new league year and free agency begin on March 16, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.


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The Cowboys, who owe Cooper $20 million in fully guaranteed money on March 20 if he's still with the team, will save $16 million while incurring $6 million in dead money if they cut Cooper, per Over The Cap.

Cooper hauled in just 68 passes for 865 yards en route to a 72.9 PFF grade in 2021, his lowest marks since 2017 as a Raider. That production led owner Jerry Jones to express his frustration with Cooper following the team's swift playoff exit.

Season Targets Receptions Yards PFF Grade
2021 99 68 865 72.9
2020 128 92 1,114 75.9
2019 116 79 1,189 84.2
2018 102 75 1,005 77.9
2017 90 48 680 63.6

PFF's Brad Spielberger listed Cooper as a potential trade candidate this offseason, with the Cowboys having a clear out from his hefty contract. It appears now Dallas will exercise that opportunity to unload Cooper — but through a release.

“Cooper’s five-year, $100 million extension signed with the Cowboys in 2020 was structured in a way that creates a clean exit opportunity this offseason, and perhaps Dallas gets out from the deal and focuses its efforts on retaining wide receiver Michael Gallup and tight end Dalton Schultz, with an eventual huge extension for wide receiver CeeDee Lamb also on the horizon.”

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