It’s obvious what the Cowboys are hoping to accomplish with this trade: fill the void of a big, strong, primary receiver created by the absence of Dez Bryant. Cooper started out of the gate in a full sprint, beginning his pro career with two straight 1000 yard seasons. Having two depleted seasons in a row, mostly because of injury, Cooper has flown under the radar.
The fact that Jon Gruden still got a first-round pick out of Cooper is impressive considering his depressed numbers recently, especially since the start of this season. Cooper should have no problem upping his reception count, and will likely be the premier target for Dak Prescott. Unlike the Raiders, the Cowboys have a great running attack lead by superstar Ezekiel Elliott, who will always be the #1 option in Dallas.
The Cowboys are hoping Cooper helps them score more points, as they are 25th in touchdowns scored. Cooper getting the marquee matchup will also open up more opportunities for new additions Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin, veteran Cole Beasley, and rookie Michael Gallup.
For the Raiders, there is promise of a bright future. At first glance, it may seem that Jon Gruden is insane, trading Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, but Gruden and the Raiders now have five first-round picks in the next two seasons, including three in next years draft. Draft picks are exactly what the Raiders need for their Gruden-era rebuild. Those picks can be used on a new franchise running back to replace the aging Marshawn Lynch, someone to replace Khalil Mack, or depth anywhere else on the field, especially defensively.
This trade seems to be the right move for both teams. I expect Cooper’s numbers to improve this year as he meshes into his new system, and his level of performance should be comparable to the Amari Cooper we saw for the first two seasons of his career. The Raiders in the long run will be set with all of their premier picks. I’m excited to see what the trade window still has in store, and hopefully there will be bigger shake ups and surprises.