Cooper is due $20 million in fully guaranteed money on the fifth day of the new league year, which begins March 16. The Cowboys structured Cooper's $100 million contract in a way that would allow the team to get out of the pact for a much smaller amount after two seasons.
If the Cowboys cut Cooper, he would count $6 million against the salary cap this year instead of $22 million. In essence, Cooper's deal would end up being a two-year, $40 million agreement.
For a team that is projected to be more than $21 million over the salary cap this year, the Cowboys are forced to make tough roster decisions. Dallas also has many unsigned key free agents such as defensive end Randy Gregory, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, tight end Dalton Schultz and safety Jayron Kearse.
Cooper ended the 2021 season with 68 receptions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns across 15 games. He recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.