FRISCO, Texas — Wanting to add speed and a complement to Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb, the Dallas Cowboys acquired Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks on Sunday for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024.
The trade for Cooks likely takes the Cowboys out of the competition for free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., a team source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
“Hard to do Cooks and OBJ,” the source said.
The Cowboys and Texans had discussions regarding a deal for Cooks before last year’s trade deadline but could not come to an agreement.
Cooks’ $18 million salary in 2023 is guaranteed. Cooks restructured his contract Saturday so that Houston will pay $6 million of his salary this season and Dallas will pay the remaining $12 million, sources told ESPN. He is under contract through 2024.
“Beyond blessed and can’t wait to go be special for the star! Very thankful for the Jones family for this opportunity for my family and I,” Cooks said in a text message to ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime.
Last year, the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick but only added veteran James Washington in free agency and Jalen Tolbert in the third round as a replacement. Washington suffered a broken foot in training camp and played in only two games, without a catch, before his release. Tolbert caught just two passes as a rookie.
With Michael Gallup coming back from a torn ACL in his left knee, executive vice president Stephen Jones said it was “probably fair” to criticize the Cowboys for not doing enough to replace Cooper.
In Cooks, the Cowboys acquire a speed threat to pair with Lamb and Gallup, whom the organization believes will be much better in his second year back from major surgery.
Cooks, 29, had been vocal about his unhappiness in Houston and said he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild. He caught 57 passes for 699 yards and three scores in 13 games for the Texans last season.
This is the fourth time he has been traded in his career.
“I’ve really never gotten upset because obviously that means someone out there wants me to be a part of their group,” Cooks said Monday. “Fortunate enough to go for some great draft picks. I think I’m just fortunate enough to be able to play with so many great organizations and make an impact in this league everywhere I’ve been.”
The Cowboys have built their roster through the draft, eschewing major free agent signings. They now have one pick in each round. They had three fifth-round picks after compensatory selections were announced but have since dealt two of them.