The Cowboys should let someone else pay Cooper
Jane Slater of NFL Network said Cooper wasn’t benched, but the Cowboys wanted Tavon Austin in because his quickness was a problem for the Eagles. The Cowboys were using a receiver rotation and Cooper was out on that play, Slater said.’ data-reactid=”19″>Why not? Jane Slater of NFL Network said Cooper wasn’t benched, but the Cowboys wanted Tavon Austin in because his quickness was a problem for the Eagles. The Cowboys were using a receiver rotation and Cooper was out on that play, Slater said.
The Cowboys gave up a lot for Cooper, trading a first-round pick for him during last season. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hates to not pay a big-name player. But the Cowboys can’t pay Cooper unless his price has come way down. Way, way down.
Cooper has always been inconsistent, and that’s why the Raiders were willing to trade him. He’ll disappear for weeks at a time. On Sunday, in the Cowboys’ biggest game of the year, he had four catches for 24 yards on 12 targets against an Eagles secondary that is terrible covering wide receivers.
Over the Cowboys’ last six games, when they went 2-4 and probably blew the division, Cooper had 22 catches for 249 yards and one touchdown. Cooper also has the ability to explode for huge games, but you never know when they’re coming. Do you want to pay Jones/Thomas/Odell Beckham Jr. money for that?
The Cowboys already paid Ezekiel Elliott, because that’s what they do. Elliott has been good but not great and presumably will have the same mediocre or worse ROI as most huge running back deals. Dak Prescott will probably be overpaid, but he’s a good quarterback and it’s hard to move on at quarterback. He’ll get paid, somehow.
Dallas needs to resist the urge to pay Cooper. Treat the first-round pick sent to the Raiders as a sunk cost. Let someone else pay Cooper like he’s a star and that team can live with the games in which Cooper fails to post 25 yards (he has had four such games this season). The Cowboys have a lot of questions to answer this offseason, including who their new coach will be once Jason Garrett is fired and how to keep Prescott. But Cooper shouldn’t even be a question anymore. He has to be let loose. The Cowboys can’t afford to pay him and have him disappear when it matters most. Let someone else deal with that problem. Dallas has enough problems as is.
Here’s a look at the coaches, players, executives or anyone else feeling the heat on Monday, after Week 16 of the NFL season.
HOT: Russell Wilson hasn’t been the same lately
Can we have an honest conversation about Wilson? Because the truth is, it has been a while since he looked like an MVP candidate.
The Seahawks’ loss on Sunday was a bad one. The Arizona Cardinals have no business beating the Seahawks on the road, yet entirely outplayed them. Wilson deserves a lot of blame for the loss. He was 16-of-31 for 169 yards against a bad defense. Top-two receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf combined for one catch and 12 yards.
Wilson was very good against the terrible Carolina Panthers in Week 15, but other than that he has been fairly mediocre since early November. When Wilson threw five touchdowns against Tampa Bay on Nov. 3, he looked like an MVP favorite. Since then he has averaged 228.7 passing yards per game with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Wilson doesn’t get a lot of help from his supporting cast and the coaching staff still stubbornly wants to be a run-first offense. The Seahawks ask Wilson to do it all, and it’s not all his fault when he doesn’t play like Superman.
Still, this is the life of a star quarterback. It won’t get easier. The Seahawks lost running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise on Sunday, and were already without Rashaad Penny. Left tackle Duane Brown will be out too because he’s slated for knee surgery. Wilson will have to play exceptionally well for the depleted Seahawks to beat the San Francisco 49ers and take the NFC West next week. In other words, he’ll have to play like the quarterback we saw in the first part of the season.
HOTTER: Bill O’Brien can’t screw up his decision to sit starters
Teams battle all season to get a bye, and it’s obvious why. The most important thing is being in the second round of the playoffs of course, but it’s absolutely enormous to get a week to rest. After 16 games, every NFL team is dealing with injuries. Being able to get as healthy as possible for the postseason is a gift.
The Houston Texans have almost nothing to play for in Week 17. There is some benefit to getting the No. 3 seed, but that’s a long shot because they’d need a Kansas City Chiefs loss. The Texans are going to be the No. 4 seed unless something crazy happens, but there’s good news. With the seed all but assured, the Texans could use Week 17 as a semi-bye week, giving all their starters a rest.
CORE OF THE EARTH: The Bears are a failure
Even with some regression, the 2019 Chicago Bears shouldn’t have fallen this hard.
A Chiefs-Bears Week 16 “Sunday Night Football” game seemed like good theater when it was scheduled, but it was the dull blowout everyone knew was coming. The NFL should have flexed it out, for anything. The Bears aren’t capable of putting on a decent show. They lost 26-3.
Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab‘ data-reactid=”105″>Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
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