Jerry Jones on @1053thefan discussing Amari Cooper: “He’ll definitely change the dynamics of the offense. There’s no question about it.” Believes Cooper's presence will help Dak, Zeke, and in turn, the Cowboys' third-ranked defense. #cowboyswire
— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) October 26, 2018
Can Amari Cooper Revive His Career in Dallas?
A Season and a Half to Forget
The Raiders have struggled in recent seasons and Cooper’s productivity has declined. In 2017 Cooper had just two games of more than 100 yards through 12 starts. Cooper’s highlight of that season came in the 31-30 win over the Chiefs when the wideout had 210 yards receiving, scoring two touchdowns in the process.
2018 hasn’t been a bed of roses for the 24-year-old out of Alabama. Despite picking up two games of more than 100 yards, Cooper has found productivity difficult in a waning Raiders offense. The Raiders targeted Cooper once in the 27-3 capitulation at home to the Seahawks He ended up leaving the game early in the second quarter due to concussion protocol. As one door closes, another one opens.
Cooper Adds Options to the Cowboys Offense
Cooper swaps the black and silver for the blue and silver. Jon Gruden‘s loss is Jason Garrett‘s gain. We’ve seen football players find their form once more after a trade. Peyton Manning is a great example in recent years, moving from the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos, where he eventually earned his second Super Bowl ring. There’s no reason why Cooper can’t find his rhythm in Dallas, giving balance to the offense.
Why should the Cowboys trust their new wide receiver? Cooper’s stats provide the evidence that he has the ability to move the chains. In both the 2015 and 2016 seasons Cooper had multiple games over 100 yards. Cooper was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2015. Coach Garrett must now find that formula that connects Dak Prescott with his new receiver. Short-yardage gains may be the key to Cooper gaining the level confidence he enjoyed in his first two seasons of pro football.
“He’s 24 years old, has a bright future, goes about it the right way and it feels like he fits into our culture of our team; the kind of guys we want to have, the cornerstone players we build here over the last few years.” (Jason Garrett to NFL.com)
Cooper’s strength analysis from the 2015 draft states that he works hard to make himself presentable for the quarterback. The Cowboys (3-4) haven’t exactly lit up the league in total offense. The Cowboys rushing game (ranked third) has not been complemented by their passing game which is ranked 29th, averaging 183 yards per game.
The Week Eight bye comes in a timely manner for the Cowboys. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has just over a week to embed Cooper into the Cowboys’ receiver corps. Cole Beasley leads the wideouts with 350 yards from 33 receptions. Allen Hurns has had a lean time of it, with his 13 receptions for 158 yards leaving questions about his role in Dallas. The 26-year-old has struggled to find the form that earned him over 1,000 yards receiving at Jacksonville in 2015.
Justifying the Trade
The Cowboys believe that they’ve got an investment. Coach Garrett and his staff have done their homework. They must now wait to see if Prescott and Cooper can become the duo to propel the Cowboys offense up the ladder. Cooper will have to work hard to justify the trade deal. Cooper can win over the fans, especially if he improves the Cowboys third down conversion rates of 31 percent. Over to you Amari! The Cowboys will face the Tennessee Titans (3-4) on November 5.