Did the Cleveland Browns lose the Amari Cooper trade with the Dallas Cowboys?

Browns, Amari Cooper. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Browns, Amari Cooper. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Amari Cooper has been one of the bright spots for the Cleveland Browns this season but there’s an opinion out there that the Dallas Cowboys might have won the trade

When the Dallas Cowboys sent Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a mere fifth-round pick — while swapping sixth-rounders — it was widely considered a win for the Browns. And after seven games, they have to be happy with what they’ve seen from No. 2.

Cooper has 34 receptions for 422 yards with four touchdowns and at that pace, he would finish with 82 catches for 1,024 yards and 10 touchdowns. That’s a solid season and well worth the draft pick investment.

However, not everyone believes Dallas lost this trade. Aryanna Prasad of FanSided says the Cowboys might have actually won the trade to this point.

Wins and losses in the Browns vs. Cowboys trade

Prasad focuses on the overall record of the two teams in her piece. She shows that the Cowboys are 5-2 compared to the 2-5 record for the Browns — although she does say Cooper is still a phenomenal player.

"“While Cooper continues to be a phenomenal player, the trade hasn’t played out for the Browns  quite as they hoped, at least not yet. Since the team is now sitting at 2-5 after four straight losses, the trade is currently trending in the Cowboys’ favor: the NFC East team has a flipped record at 5-2.” — Prasad said of the Browns trade for Amari Cooper"

She also contests that Dallas went 4-1 with a backup quarterback as Cleveland is struggling with Deshaun Watson out. Speaking of Watson, Prasad did add that this trade could end up working out for both sides while admitting Cooper could be a huge success with the former Houston Texan throwing him the ball.

Having said all of this, it’s a bit unfair to use the records in this case since each team was in a vastly different spot when making the trade. Dallas felt comfortable moving on from Cooper due to the presence of other wideouts such as CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. They’ve even had an unexpected boost from Noah Brown who has 339 yards and a touchdown on 25 catches.

Cleveland, on the other hand, moved on from Odell Beckham last season and Jarvis Landry this year. They needed a No. 1 wideout and they got that in Cooper. Dallas needed cap space and they also got that by moving on from Cooper, despite knowing he can still play at a high level.

Why the trade was a win for both teams

In the end, Prasad is right about the potential for this being a win for both teams. In terms of actual value received, there’s no way in the world to pretend Dallas got fair compensation for Cooper. But they weren’t looking for that.

What they wanted was to shed some salary and trading Cooper got them more relief than an outright release. It also gave some confidence to Lamb, Gallup, and Brown while giving them the space they’ll need to extend Lamb — and they already did this with Gallup.

For the Browns, they’ve had a lot of success already on offense with Jacoby Brissett under center. When Watson returns in Week 13, the passing game will have the potential to be even better. Then in 2023 when Watson has knocked off the rust, the connection between the two could really take off.

So yes, Cleveland got the better end of the deal but each team accomplished what they wanted to in their move.