The Dallas Cowboys are in need of a star wide receiver, and Amari Cooper’s time with the Oakland Raiders seems to be coming to an end. This could be a match made in heaven for Dallas.
Amari Cooper came into the NFL as an incredibly promising wide receiver prospect, with many analysts believing that Cooper had little bust potential as a true superstar at Alabama. While Cooper showed his skills in his first two seasons with the Oakland Raiders, topping over 1,000 yards of receiving in both campaigns, he’s struggled mightily since the start of the 2017 campaign.
The Raiders are reeling in 2018 under the guidance of high-priced head coach Jon Gruden, who has taken over personnel decisions. After dealing Khalil Mack in the offseason, nobody on the Raiders roster is safe, and the seemingly uninterested and disgruntled Cooper, who has not featured heavily in the Raiders anemic offense, is on the trading block.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Dallas Cowboys are looking into acquiring Cooper, who would immediately be the team’s most dynamic wide receiver. Though Cole Beasley has been a competent chain-mover for the Cowboys offense, nobody else in Dallas’s wide receiver corps, which is one of the league’s most ineffective, has stood out.
Even at his worst, Cooper would be an upgrade over offseason signing Allen Hurns, who has caught an abysmal 36.4% of his targets. Rookie Michael Gallup has shown promise, but he’s been just as inefficient. Meanwhile, Terrance Williams has been suspended and veteran Deonte Thompson is just a special teamer.
At this point in time, the Cowboys are simply researching Cooper and seeing if he’s somebody who could help this team. Dallas has struggled to find a replacement for Dez Bryant, but Cooper has the strength, speed, athleticism, agility, and route-running chops to be this team’s No. 1 option, especially since they don’t have anyone remotely as gifted as Cooper.
For the Cowboys, acquiring Cooper seems to be worth the risk, but they may be concerned about Cooper’s perceived lack of effort for the Raiders this season. The Cowboys have been dealing with wide receivers shading quarterback Dak Prescott publicly, and while Cooper never made his criticisms public, he would visibly throw his hands up in frustration whenever Derek Carr missed him on a simple pass.
Cooper’s drops and inconsistencies are drawbacks, but he is a former 1,100-yard wide receiver with true star potential. That’s more than can be said for the other receivers on the Cowboys roster, and it’s clear that Cooper is in need of a change of scenery.
If he does get shipped out of Oakland to Dallas, he could become hungry and reward the Cowboys handsomely if he makes them a big part of their gameplan. Judging by how little the Raiders have used him this year, Dallas could negotiate a more palatable asking price than the reported first-round pick that Oakland is seeking.