The Texans Trade Is Good News for the Vikings

Purple Rumor Mill: Brandin Cooks, Packers Reign Finishing, Chase Claypool
Oct 2, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports.

The Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys pulled off a trade Sunday, sending one of the steadiest wide receivers in the NFL from the AFC to the NFC.

Brandin Cooks is now a Cowboy, and in a roundabout way, that is good news for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Texans Trade Is Good News for the Vikings

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “Sources: The Texans are trading WR Brandin Cooks to the Cowboys for a 5th this year and 6th next year. A big-play threat for Dallas.”

The Texans Trade
Jun 14, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) practices drills at minicamp at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports.

Why is the news advantageous for the Vikings? Simple — the move increases Minnesota’s chances of landing free-agent WR Odell Beckham, a player oft-rumored to join Dallas. The Cooks trade makes it less likely for Jerry Jones to roll out the red carpet for another target-hungry pass-catcher.

When free agency kicked off six days ago, the Cowboys lived at the top of the list via chances to sign Beckham. According to OddsChecker, these were the Vegas odds for Beckham’s services as of March 14th:

  • +250: Cowboys
  • +300: Bills
  • +400: Giants
  • +700: Rams
  • +800: Chiefs
  • +1000: 49ers, Browns, Packers
  • +1200: Panthers
  • +1400: Vikings
  • +1600: Jets
  • +1800: Cardinals
PurplePTSD: Brandin Cooks' Pricetag, Muse in the House, No Tomlinson
Dec 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) runs with the ball for a touchdown during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, Dallas is substantially less likely to win the Beckham Sweepstakes. Everyone else moves up on the list. Too, the Vikings interest in Beckham isn’t some pipe dream or idea dreamed up on the internet. Beckham held a private workout for NFL teams to have a peek, and CBS Sports Jonathan Jones’ tweeted about the event on March 10, “Teams represented at Odell Beckham Jr.’s private workout in Arizona today included the Panthers, Giants, Patriots, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Chiefs, Vikings, Browns and Ravens, per source.”

The Vikings were there, along with about one-third of the NFL.

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) scores the final touchdown for Houston as Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell (32) can’t make the tackle during the fourth quarter Sunday, Dec. 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Jaguars hosted the Texans during a regular season NFL game. Houston defeated Jacksonville 30-16. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Minnesota might need a WR2 for 2023 if the front office and coaching staff aren’t enamored with promoting K.J. Osborn or Jalen Nailor for the gig. Beckham, 30, could be “the guy.” D.J. Chark is available in free agency. Otherwise, an early-round draft pick could be used on an Adam Thielen replacement, who the Vikings released on March 10th.

Meanwhile, regarding the quest for Beckham, price was the kicker — until Friday. Pro Football Talk reported about Beckham’s free agency on March 11, “At one point during the 2022 season, a report emerged that free-agent receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. wants $20 million per year. We’re told that Beckham still has that number in mind.”

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) against the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

But Beckham squashed that theory on Twitter Friday, “I’m just so confused where the quote is from me that said I want 20…..??all I’m sayin is 4 AINT enough.”

Since joining the NFL in 2014, Beckham ranks 8th in receiving touchdowns (56), 14th in receiving yards (7,367), and 19th in receptions. He also won a Super Bowl with current Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell in 2021. Beckham was the Los Angeles Rams WR2, and O’Connell was the offensive coordinator.

Beckham has missed 34% of football games in his career due to injury.

Brandin Cooks has now been traded for the following draft assets in his nine-year career:

  • 1st-Round pick
  • 1st-Round pick
  • 2nd-Round pick
  • 3rd-Round pick
  • 5th-Round pick
  • 6th-Round pick
  • 6th-Round pick

A team’s full draft class.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by