Texans trade Brandin Cooks: Grading the transaction with the Cowboys
Brandin Cooks’ discontent with the Houston Texans last season was well-documented, and it seems that it was only a matter of time before the veteran receiver found a new home.
Cooks can get a fresh start with the Dallas Cowboys as Houston agreed on a deal that sent the 29-year-old to Big D and pocketed the Texans a 2023 fifth-rounder and a 2024 sixth-rounder.
The draft package may seem like relatively modest compensation for a player of Cooks’ caliber, though his exceptionally high cap number for next season likely played a role in the Cowboys’ unwillingness to give up more premium selections. Moreover, it has been reported that Houston agreed to pay $6 million towards Cooks’ salary guarantee in 2023 to complete the deal, essentially paying Dallas in cash to take him off their hands.
Houston should be able to find good value with the fifth-round pick they received in April’s draft, though they shouldn’t expect to be able to replace Cooks’ production one-for-one with any of the receivers who are expected to be available at that juncture. Ultimately, the Texans’ decision to trade Cooks wasn’t an act of short-term roster improvement, but rather an exercise in housekeeping as they look to rebuild in 2023.
Cooks was the only star-caliber receiver that Houston had on their roster before this trade, and the team will need to find additional help in short order to ensure that their quarterback, whomever that might be, has a viable option to throw to next season. Second-year wideout John Metchie could eat up a significant portion of what would have been Cooks’ targets. Unfortunately, Metchie will be functionally a rookie as he spent 2022 winning more consequential battles.
Houston’s trade is nothing spectacular, but given that the Texans needed to change their locker room culture and field only players who want to be part of their herculean rebuild, it was probably a necessary move.