Sources said the sides haven't had any talks regarding a contract extension for Cooper, who has given Dallas yards after the catch, touchdowns, and renewed hope in the NFC East.
Considering the Cowboys surrendered a first-round pick for Cooper, some NFL executives thought they would have tried to lock him up in advance of the late-October trade. But the team felt that with Cooper's fifth-year option and then the franchise tag after that, there was no need.
Now, Dallas (6-5) feels as if the price on Cooper -- who has 22 receptions for 349 yards and three TDs since joining the team -- is rising by the week.
The 24-year-old has elevated his game, making Dallas realize that it will be costly to retain him -- a cost that has been increasing since the team acquired him. Cooper still is on his Raiders rookie contract. Oakland picked up the fifth-year option that ties Cooper to Dallas for next season. Typically teams do deals with players well before that fifth-year option comes into play, but the Cowboys and Cooper have yet to have any talks regarding a new deal, despite some speculation that they have.
The sides are expected to commence contract talks after this season, a source said, and Dallas wants to pay Cooper. But there haven't been any inroads yet.