Dallas is sending a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft and a sixth-round pick in the 2024 draft to Houston for the nine-year veteran wide receiver.
Most Dallas Cowboys fans responded in one of two ways. Some were disappointed, because he is not as big of a name as DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham, Jr. Other fans, those more familiar with Cooks’ production and abilities, were very excited and applauded the move.
To get everyone on the same page, let’s take a look at what has most of Cowboys Nation so excited about this trade.
WHAT BRANDIN COOKS BRINGS TO THE DALLAS COWBOYS OFFENSE
Brandin Cooks is 29 years old (to be 30 in September). He stands at 5’10” and has a recorded weight of 185 pounds.
At the 2014 NFL Combine, Cooks ran a 4.33 second 40-yard dash. For perspective, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup ran it in 4.5 seconds and 4.51 seconds respectively.
Cooks is also a deep threat. His career average depth of target is 12.8 yards which is higher than Lamb’s (10.5 yards) and just under Gallup’s (13.1 yards). However, Cooks’ career drop rate is 5.6 percent. Gallups’ is 10.9 percent.
Despite having spent nine seasons in the NFL, Brandin Cooks has missed surprisingly few games and doesn’t seem to have suffered any major injuries to his ankles, knees, hips, or back.
During his first few years in the league, Cooks suffered a few concussions. He missed two games due to his last one, but he hasn’t been listed as suffering a concussion since the 2019 season.
Since 2020, Cooks’ only two reported injuries are a quad strain in 2020 which resulted in no games missed and a calf pull in 2022.
Draft Sharks gave him a durability rating of 5 out of 5 and predict that there is only a 2.4% chance of injury per game. They listed him as a “Very Low Risk” athlete as far as potential injuries are concerned.
BRANDIN COOKS BY THE NUMBERS
None of the above mentioned attributes would mean much without actual in-game production. His performance in that area begs the question of why he’s not a bit more popular among NFL fans.
The answer might lie in the fact that his best performances happen when he is not the centerpiece of his teams’ offense.
In 2015, with the Drew Brees-led Saints and during one of Mark Ingram’s best years, he recorded 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns from 84 receptions.
When Michael Thomas joined the Saints in the following season, Cooks was still able to put up similar numbers and matched Thomas’ in the process. Cooks made 78 catches for 1,173 yards and 8 touchdowns that season. Thomas logged 92 catches, 1,137 yards, and 9 touchdowns.
In 2018, when Todd Gurley was lighting up the stat sheet for the LA Rams (combined 1,831 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing and receiving) Cooks recorded 80 catches, 1,204 yards, and 5 touchdowns of his own.
For six of the nine seasons Cooks has been a pro receiver, he’s accrued over 1,000 receiving yards. Even though his total yards took a dive in 2022 (699 total yards), his average yards per catch actually increased from 11.5 in 2021 to 12.3 in 2022.
Also of note is the fact that Brandin Cooks has bounced back from low production years before. There have been two seasons during his career where he recorded under 600 total yards, but each time, he’s bounced back with over 1,000 yards the following season. Based on that pattern, he’s due for another high production year in 2023.
a good move overall
It seems that as long as the Cowboys keep the offense as diverse as it’s been and don’t expect Cooks to carry the offensive load, he can be the speedy deep threat Dallas needs. He can also take some attention away from CeeDee. That alone would do a lot for both Lamb and the production of the Cowboys’ offense.
For a team whose front office is usually averse to exploring the free agent market this time of year, this trade did come as a surprise. For most Cowboys fans, it is a welcomed one. This move is the second smart choice in what is hopefully becoming a trend of putting impactful veterans alongside its young stars.