Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper came out this week and made the media rounds, being featured on radio shows across the country as well as ESPN’s morning slate of shows. He also hosted a Gatorade event where he spoke to the media, gushing over his love for Dallas.
However, the biggest headline to surface following the blitz of quotes was Cooper’s desire to be the NFL’s first 2,000-yard receiver.
Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports asked Cooper about his goals for the season, prompting the Cowboys wide receiver with the question, “1-comma-what” in terms of his yardage.
“You got to put a 2 in front of that,” Cooper said. “That’s the goal.”
On the surface, it’s an absurd statement, considering it’s never been done before and Cooper has just 1,685 yards in his last two seasons combined.
Cooper came to Dallas last season via a trade after floundering to start the year with the Jon Gruden led Raiders, collecting just 206 yards on six games. The former first round pass-catcher has never eclipsed the 1,200-yard mark.
But the 2,000-yard statement also feeds into something Cooper said while being interviewed on ESPN’s First Take by Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, which could spell trouble for the Cowboys as they look to negotiate an extension with their star wide receiver.
When asked about being the league’s highest paid player at his position, Cooper responded in a surprising way.
“Not now,” Cooper said. “Definitely looking forward to earning that respect and definitely looking forward to coming into this year and just putting up those numbers for my team and really showing what I can do in a full season as a Dallas Cowboy. I know that I have the skillset to be one of the highest-paid receivers. I’m just all about going out there and proving it.”
It’s fairly obvious Cooper has not done enough in his career yet to be considered with NFL superstars like Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. or Michael Thomas. Both he and his agent know that, although there have been reports that the former first-round pick is looking to be paid like it.
But what Cooper’s comments could reveal is that he’s willing to play out the year and bet on himself, hoping that a full offseason learning the offense will help him produce at a career-best level.
After that, Cooper could get the payday he feels he deserves among the NFL elite.
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