Amari Cooper holds no ill feelings towards the Oakland Raiders after the trade which sent him to the Dallas Cowboys. It actually may be just the opposite, at least from hearing the young wide receiver’s comments on the deal. While the Raiders are in the midst of a rebuild, they traded away both Cooper and defensive star Khalil Mack (to the Chicago Bears).
And for both players, the fits with their new teams have been exceptional, to say the least. Following his trade and the first games of Cooper’s tenure with the Cowboys, there’s been praise from all directions. But in an interview with Kimberley A. Martin of Yahoo Sports, Cooper spoke about the trade, admitting it “kind of changed me … as a person a little bit.”
As Cooper goes on to admit that he “wasn’t really happy in Oakland,” he also addressed the chip that the situation created on his shoulder. After all, it wasn’t long before that Raiders coach Jon Gruden vowed to make the 24-year-old receiver his team’s offensive focus.
“Just reflecting on my last four games here and my personality here, I feel like it did change me, as far as having that chip on my shoulder,” Cooper said.
“Not that I wasn’t passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changed me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it.
Amari Cooper’s Impressive Start With Cowboys
While Cooper says he’s having fun with Dallas, it’s certainly shown on the field. After one of his two touchdowns on Thanksgiving against the Washington Redskins, the former first-round pick did something we’ve seen very little of from him. He celebrated and had his teammates join in while imitating Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz’s unique free throw form.
Taking it a step further than that, it’s become wildly apparent that sometimes happiness with a situation can lead to on-field success, and Cooper is proof of that. He’s now totaled more yards, three times as many touchdowns and the same number of catches through four games in Dallas as he did through six this season in Oakland.
Although Cooper has dealt with a learning curve involving learning a new offense and building rapport with a new quarterback, he’s still impressed. To this point, Cooper has hauled in 22 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns with the Cowboys. His headlining moment came in a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving when he torched the Redskins to the tune of eight catches for 180 yards and two scores.
The sky is the limit for Cooper in Dallas, and there seems to be a strong possibility that he’ll be in town for a very long time.