I’ve been involved with a good amount of hiring over the years, so I’ve seen my fair share of uninteresting and uninspired cover letters. However, I’ve also seen some really great ones that were really able to pique my interest.
I’d suggest reframing what your idea of a cover letter is. Don’t use it as a place to rehash your resume in paragraph form. You’re right, no one will spend much time reading something you’ve probably copied and pasted to 14 other employers. Instead, use it as a place to showcase your knowledge about the company (you’ve done your research, right?) and why you are interested in working in this position and with this team.
If you do this, your excitement may shine through enough that the recruiter or hiring manager may not even look at your resume before deciding to give you a call.