There’s plenty of excitement surrounding the debut of the Dallas Cowboys’ newest offensive weapon, wide receiver Amari Cooper. After all, when you acquire a former first-round pick (in exchange for a future first-round pick), there’s a plethora of intrigue around it. The former Oakland Raiders wideout has been hit-or-miss this season but flashed plenty of upside in his young career.
Cooper will now get a fresh start with the Cowboys and it seems he’s impressed during practices. Thanks to the timing of the team’s bye week, the 24-year-old wideout had an extra week of preparation before the team’s Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans. As Jori Epstein of USA TODAY revealed, Cooper’s presence in Dallas has added to the intensity of practices.
“He now has under his belt a bye week working with receivers coach Sanjay Lal in California, and several practices including live team drills where he’s snagged deep balls from Prescott this week.”
“The result: Cowboys practice intensity has ramped up.”
And while practices have gone to the next level, quarterback Dak Prescott called it “positive energy” but also said they’re getting chippy for a good reason, per Epstein.
“It’s just positive energy,” Prescott said. “Practices getting chippy and chippy for the right reasons.”
Cooper is obviously doing something right at practice and likely causing some headaches for the Cowboys defensive backs. All of this is positive, especially considering the team’s struggles at receiver to this point in the year.
Cooper’s Likely Boost to Cowboys’ Struggling Receiving Corps
Aside from Cole Beasley, who leads the team with 350 receiving yards and two touchdowns, no other Cowboys receiver has more than 190 yards or 13 catches. It’s obvious the team had to make a move to bolster the position down the stretch of the season. The move to acquire Cooper adds a player who’s flashed tremendous upside at points but will do more than just catch passes.
Cooper’s presence should help to make life easier for Beasley, rookie Michael Gallup and Allen Hurns. With less attention on those three and more on Cooper, Prescott can go back to spreading the ball around and opening up the field. If and when this happens, it will also boost Ezekiel Elliott’s upside, as defenses will have to at least respect the Dallas wideouts.
Time will tell, but this deal may benefit everyone involved, even the run game and Cowboys defense.