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Amari Cooper would be released by the Cowboys because of the infamous Ezekiel Elliott contract

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Ehe NFL market heats up since Dallas. Amari Cooper would be added to the free agent list and would be one of the most sought after, as the Cowboys would opt to let the receiver go due to salary-cap issues, according to ESPN.

A controversial move, as Dak Prescott has been considerably better when Cooper has played (on third down they go from 8.3 yards per attempt and 48% success rate to 6.1 and 38% without Amari; on passes over 15 yards in the air, they go from 14.4 and 52% to 10.1 and 40%, according to Sharp Football), but the team has no money to pay him . Or rather, the mistakes of the past have caught up with them and they have nothing to pay the second-most expensive receiver in the league for 2022, second only to the 25.05 Arizona would pay DeAndre Hopkins.

The Cowboys are more than $21 million over the salary cap , the third-worst financial team, according to Spotrac data , in large part because Dak Prescott’s contract extension will cost twice as much against the salary cap as it does in 2021 (34.45 vs. 17.2). And we’re not even talking about the fact that Dak made less than a million a year in his first four seasons in the league and, despite having all the money to invest in the rest of the team, the Cowboys never even made it to the conference finals.

That implies cuts elsewhere and Dallas would opt for Cooper, who has three more years on his contract, but because of the structure of the contract, it would cost only 6 million if they let him go before March 20, instead of the 22 million that they would pay him. for playing the whole season. Savings of 16 million that would allow the team to be below the salary cap with fewer restructurings to other contracts.

Cooper joined the Cowboys midway through the 2018 season. In 56 games with Dallas, he has 292 receptions for 3,893 yards, 27 touchdowns and two trips to the Pro Bowl, but the team considers him expendable after drafting Cee Dee Lamb. of 2020, but Cooper could be just another receiver to go. Of the Cowboys’ 9 receiving players in 2021, six may not return . Cedric Wilson, Noah Brown, Michael Gallup, Malik Turner and Dalton Schultz are free agents. Only Lamb and running backs Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott would return.

Ezekiel Elliott’s contract partly responsible for having to cut Amari Cooper

Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been an elite runner for a while. It is likely that he is no longer a good runner. Tony Pollard outscored him in rushing yards (5.5 vs. 4.2) and receiving yards (8.6 vs. 6.1) last season, and Zeke cost six times as much. And the situation will get worse.

Zeke’s contract is perhaps the worst in the league: 6 years for 90 million, which took effect in 2021 and runs until 2026, when he would be 31 years old, an age that is usually well ahead of the historical ‘expiration date’ for the runners. It’s almost impossible to cut Zeke now, as he would count $30.8 million against the salary cap in 2022 even if he’s released, or could cost $11.86 if he’s cut before 2023.

The $18 million they will pay Elliott, who averaged his career fewest yards and carries and his fewest receptions since 2017, is about what Amari Cooper would cost, but they can’t get out of the contract and it costs at least a Pro Bowl player who is at a prime performance age, being just 27 years old.

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