The first day of the draft can be a pretty boring experience for those teams without a first round pick. Among those teams who will be spectators for the first round (barring and trades to get back into it) will be the Bears and the Cowboys who sent their picks to the Raiders long before either team knew which pick they would have.
First it was the Bears just prior to last season sending their 2019 and 2020 first round picks to Oakland for Khalil Mack. They pick ended up being 24 overall.
At midseason, the Raiders shipped Amari Cooper to the Dallas for their 2019 first round pick. With the Cowboys winning seven of their final eight games and beating the Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs, they feel pretty good about the trade. As Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones said when asked what the Cowboys will be doing when the Raiders make their pick at 27.
Cowboys Stephen Jones in a draft season without a first-round pick: “When the Raiders pick with our pick, we’ll be watching Amari [Cooper] highlight tape.”— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) February 26, 2019
The Raiders may just being doing the same. Mainly because there’s some good news for both teams, should they stick to the tape from their own team during last season.
Coop had a couple games over 100 yards early last season and was completely invisible in the other four, combining for four catches for 36 yards. The Raiders were going nowhere soon and knew that after this season, Coop — who has the same agent as Mack — would be looking to get paid.
The Cowboys saw Coop as the missing piece, and they were right. He caught 53 passes for 725 yards and 7 touchdowns over his nine games in Dallas, just surpassing 1000 yards (1005) on the season and heading back to the Pro Bowl.
Having more first round draft picks is more valuable to the Raiders than an inconsistent receiver and Amari Cooper is more valuable to the Cowboys. Both sides liked the trade at the time and it’s fair to say they are still good with it.