On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys traded a first-round draft pick for a veteran wide receiver that another team was desperate to get rid of. This seems to be a recurring prank on fans. In 1999, they gave up two first-rounders for receiver Joey Galloway, who may be best remembered by Cowboys fans for tearing his ACL in his star-helmeted debut—not his fault, of course—which was the beginning of his struggle for relevancy in Dallas. In 2008, the team made a similar deal, giving up a first, third, and sixth round pick to acquire wide receiver Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions. Williams, a former Longhorns standout who rarely had reason for his signature “first down” wiggle in Dallas finished his tenure with the Cowboys with 94 receptions and 13 touchdowns in over 40 games. This time out, they gave up their 2019 first round pick for yet another wide receiver: the Oakland Raiders’ Amari Cooper.

Cooper has been a successful receiver during his time in the NFL. In 2015 and 2016—his first two seasons with the Raiders—he put up more than 1,000 yards and at least six touchdowns in each campaign. But he struggled last year, bringing in fewer than 50 receptions for just 680 yards, and is on pace for similar production so far in 2018. The 2016 version of Amari Cooper is a fine talent, probably worthy of a first-round pick—but the receiver we’ve seen over the past 22 games? Not so much.

Sports media reacted to the trade with widespread derision. This season, the Raiders have been the league’s laughingstock. New head coach Jon Gruden, flush with power after signing a huge contract, overhauled the roster. He traded the team’s best defensive player, Khalil Mack, for a pair of first-round picks—a deal that had a number of suitors—and proceeded to go 1-5 to start the season, bringing accusations that he may have been tanking the season in order to put himself in a better position to build the team he wanted for future seasons.

Meanwhile, on the latest Monday Night Football broadcast, Jason Witten—who is technically not a Cowboy anymore—praised the move, declaring that Jerry Jones and his front office “won” the trade.

“I think Dallas wins it. Look, they needed a big-time player. They’re 3-4. The division is wide open. They needed someone that could stretch the field besides Cole Beasley.

“On the outside, they want to run the football certainly with Zeke Elliott, it starts there, strength of their team, but Dak hasn’t been able to have that guy. They want to stretch the field, that’s the power of this offense, and they haven’t had anybody that can do that out there. And Amari can do that.

“First two years in the league, he had over 1,000 yards receiving. That’s what he’s done. I think Dallas wins that trade.”

Witten isn’t necessarily an objective source, of course—he’s a longtime favorite of the Jones family, and perhaps the last person in sports media one would expect to criticize the team. But let’s entertain his theory: what would it actually take for the Cowboys to win the trade?

First-round draft picks are no sure thing. Cooper is the tenth first-rounder from 2015 to change teams before the end of his first contract. So on the one hand, this deal makes some sense: Cooper is a known quantity, and by making this trade, Jones and his team can’t blow their first-round pick in 2019 on someone who truly stinks.

On the other hand, we pretty much know what Cooper’s ceiling is, which is to be a 1,100 yard slot receiver with six or seven touchdowns. That falls far short of what a superstar at the position accomplishes. Dez Bryant’s best days are almost certainly behind him, but Cooper at his best couldn’t touch Bryant during his 2012-2014 stretch, during which he posted 1,300 yards per season and double digit touchdowns each year. Could the Cowboys have gotten a receiver in the 2019 draft that would have been as good as Bryant was during his height? Jon Gruden will find out—and have that player under contract for at least four years, while Cooper will hit free agency in 2020.

The Cowboys “win” this trade, then, only if Cooper elevates them from yet another mediocre sub-.500 NFC East team to a Super Bowl contender. They’re 3-4 right now, and just lost to Washington, who sit at 4-2 atop the division. If Cooper’s presence means that they win eight of their next nine games, and have an offense that looks capable of competing with truly terrifying teams like the Rams, then cool, Jerry’s a visionary. But if he plays the way that he’s been performing over the past two years, then he’s basically just Cole Beasley without the budding rap career. The Cowboys already have one of those.

That said, the Cowboys have reached before, and it’s worked out for them. Ezekiel Elliott needed to exceed all expectations to be worth taking, as a running back, in the top five of the 2016 draft—and he did. Was Cooper kept from achieving his true potential in the NFL because of the Raiders’ scheme, coaching changes, or quarterback? It’s technically possible!

For the Cowboys to “win” this trade the way that Witten suggests, then, they need Cooper to be better than the receivers they could have taken with the pick they gave up, since he’ll be with the team on a cheap contract for a lot less time. They also need him to elevate the 2018 version of the Cowboys to true contention. And Jones clearly believes that’s possible—last month, he insisted on the radio that he believed that the middling Cowboys offense was on the verge of being as good as the soaring Rams because they had picked up an offensive cast-off named Tavon Austin (who currently has seven receptions in this season, and who had thirteen in Los Angeles last year). The logic doesn’t necessarily hold, but he’s right that in order to compete with the league’s best teams, they do need help at receiver. The question, ultimately, is if Amari Cooper, rather than any of the incoming crop entering the draft in 2019, is the one to do it.