Amari Cooper: the most interesting man in the world?
As the No. 1 wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, Cooper has all the physical tools to be great.
But the star pass-catcher has a secret weapon: his mind, which he keep sharp through everything from chess, to learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in record time.
“With my position, you have to kind of be three steps ahead of your opponent,” Cooper told USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “He might think you’re going to hit him with something you hit him with earlier, but you’re really going to hit him with something different.”
Cooper racked up 725 yards and six touchdowns receiving in nine games with the Cowboys last season. That included a 217-yard, three touchdown performance against NFC East rival Philadelphia in Week 14.
Cooper is always working on ways to improve his craft, which is why he keeps chess and dominating opponents via Rubik’s Cube in his regiment.
“That makes me be consistent and persistent to learn them,” Cooper said. “I’m practicing being great at things you can’t do overnight.”
Cooper and the Cowboys are trying to work out an extension to keep him around long-term in Dallas, but are reportedly far apart on money. According to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic, Cooper is looking for one of the largest contracts at the WR position.
Currently, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham has the highest average salary at $18 million per year, and also collected the largest guarantee ($65 million). The Giants inked Beckham to that deal a year before shipping him off to Cleveland.
Cooper is set to make $13.9 million this season, a result of a fifth-year option. The team already signed defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a big deal this offseason and are also trying to get a deal done with quarterback Dak Prescott.
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If a deal can’t get done before the season, Cooper will have a chance to put in work on the field to show the team what they’d be missing without him. Having a full slate of offseason workouts with his quarterback should help his cause.
“It’s a very good thing to get an offseason with your quarterback,” Cooper said. “He’s going to be throwing you the ball on many different types of routes, which you kinda need that chemistry to get better each day.”
Kellen Moore Gives Cowboys Offense New Look
The Dallas Cowboys fired former offensive coordinator Scott Linehan following a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and promoted quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore to help the club revamp the offense.
“First of all, the reason he’s getting the opportunity is his ability to communicate,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in February, via Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “He has a great way of getting his ideas across, and of getting people to listen to his ideas. I’ve heard that consistently from anybody that’s spent any time with him. He communicates in a way that everybody understands, and he’s got a bright mind.”
Last year, Elliott had a monster workload, with 304 rushes — 43 more than any other player — to go with 77 catches, collecting 2,001 yards from scrimmage.
“At the end of the day, we want to get him as many touches as we can. At the same time, you got to recognize what a 16-plus game season is,” Moore told reporters. “We’ll see how it progresses (with the other RBs), but if we can get it to Zeke, we’re gonna get it to Zeke.”
The Cowboys have minicamp June 11-13 and in late July will assemble for training camp in California.