The 2020 season was a huge disappointment for the Dallas Cowboys. However, despite a 6-10 record, wide receiver Amari Cooper had another productive year, and the fact that he did so playing with four different quarterbacks was all the more impressive.
Almost a week after Cooper had successful surgery to clean up his right ankle, team owner Jerry Jones was asked about his top receiver’s third season in Dallas, and he gave him some pretty noteworthy praise.
“Amari Cooper is one of the most talented players we’ve ever had on the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said, via the team’s website. “He has unlimited potential to go from here to a higher level. I think his surgery is going to allow him to do that. I think all of this is an experience-builder. Michael Irvin told me the single-most thing he did in his career to make him a Hall of Famer, was when he rehabbed through his injury and saw how much football meant to him. More likely than not, some of these negative experiences to injuries or setbacks, can motivate you to be a Hall of Famer. It happened to Michael Irvin.”
For Jones to mention Cooper as one of the organization’s top talents, and to put him in the same breath as Irvin may be a bit premature, but there’s no denying his impact since arriving in Dallas midway through the 2018 season.
The Cowboys went 7-2 in the nine games Cooper played in and won the NFC East. His numbers were quite impressive as he logged 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns. The highlights of this stretch came in Week 12 against the Washington Football Team when he racked up 180 yards and two touchdowns, and followed it up with 217 yards and three touchdowns in Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles (caught the game-winner in overtime).
The expectations for Cooper were through the roof in 2019. Although he was often a non-factor on the road with just 27 receptions all season, he still managed to have a career year. Cooper set career highs in yards (1,189), touchdowns (8), and yards per catch (15.1). His performance was good enough for the Cowboys to ink him to a five-year, $100 million extension with $60 million in guaranteed money last March.
With a bigger bank account comes even bigger expectations. However, when Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending ankle injury in October, the likelihood of Cooper having a productive year dropped significantly, but once again he came through. Cooper set a new career-high with 92 receptions and registered his fifth 1,000-yard outing in six seasons (1,114).
Cooper may not grab the headlines like Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, or Stefon Diggs, but he’s consistently one of the more productive players at the wide receiver position year in and year out. With Michael Gallup and now rookie sensation CeeDee Lamb alongside him, defenses can’t put all their focus on Cooper, which means more productive seasons for him are on the horizon.
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Published: 2021-01-12 21:48:17
Tags: #Jerry #Cooper #talented #players #Cowboys #tenure