The star wide receiver is set to hit the free-agent market unless the Cowboys use a tag on him in the coming week -- and aren't forced to rescind it if the new collective bargaining agreement is approved -- or come to a stunning long-term deal before the new league year opens.
If Cooper hits the open market, it's not hard to see the Cowboys being outbid for his services. Many teams have more cap space than Dallas this offseason and could use a player of Cooper's talents.
As with everything Jerry Jones related, however, the Cowboys offer a star-studded quality to Cooper that few other organizations in professional sports can provide. If he has his way, Cooper reiterated on 105.3 The Fan on Thursday, that he wouldn't leave Dallas.
"I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I think about it every day," Cooper said. "Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy, you can't beat it. I want to be a Cowboy for life."
Aura is nice. Money talks.
If a team blows Cooper out of the water with an offer -- perhaps making him the top-paid WR in the NFL -- would he leave Dallas and all the glitz and glamor playing for the Joneses provides? It seems likely.
The Cowboys have several big free agents this offseason, including Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott. If the CBA is approved by players next week, Dallas will only be able to franchise tag one player (Prescott), which would allow Cooper to hit the open market. (With the players' CBA voting deadline closing after the tag deadline, teams will be allowed to franchise tag one player and transition tag another -- per the rules of the final year of the old CBA -- but would be forced to rescind one if the new CBA passes.)
Cooper said his rapport with Prescott is strong, and he hopes the duo can remain together.
"Very important. We've built a good relationship so far," Cooper said. "From the time I got here, we were able to hit the ground running, and just from my experience in being in the NFL I wouldn't say that's a common thing. Sometimes you can line up with a quarterback after getting traded or going to a new team, whether it's the draft or whatever, and it not go smooth. And so, I wouldn't try to trade that for anything because I know what can be on the other side of that. I would say it's very important."
Battling through injury for parts of 2019, Cooper still compiled 1,189 yards and eight TDs on 79 catches. He added that he's fully healthy now and working out, preparing for 2020.