Everyone in the NFL is aware of why the Dallas Cowboys were willing to give up a first-round pick for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper. It’s the same reason why fans and analysts wanted the team to bring back Dez Bryant. Simply put, the Cowboys need help at wide receiver and their current group wasn’t going to cut it.
The NFC East is wide open and the Cowboys made a move which points to that. But as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen revealed after the deal, one member in the organization summed it up best.
The key here is the part about not having to “wait for him to learn how to play in the NFL.” In short, the Cowboys weren’t going to head into the NFL draft and potentially reach for a player (or trade up) for someone who has no experience. Instead, they’d take their chances on a player who’s 24 years old, has shown tremendous upside and in their eyes, is worth any risk.
Amari Cooper’s Upside vs. Ugly Struggles
When you have two or fewer catches in four of the first six games, it’s going to grab some attention. That’s the obvious area of concern, and no one can exactly peg what’s led to the ugly showings from Cooper. But on the opposite side, the former first-round draft pick’s two other games featured him posting 18 catches for 244 yards and one touchdown.
While last season was slightly different due to Cooper battling injuries, we saw him have a three-game stretch with fewer than 10 receiving yards in each. But just one game after that, Cooper torched the Kansas City Chiefs for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
The upside is there, and for the Cowboys, it’s obvious they believe the reward outweighs the risk in a big way.