It’s no secret that Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden had some locker room issues in 2018. Not everybody on the roster was on board with how the new head coach was handling things and it was made worse by the fact that Raiders weren’t winning. This led to the jettisoning of a few veterans like Bruce Irvin in the middle of the season. One of the biggest moves the Raiders made was the trading of starting wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys. Cooper struggled greatly under Gruden and the Cowboys needed a top receiver so the Raiders got a first-round pick out of it. Cooper went on to improve greatly with the Cowboys and he doesn’t seem to be looking back.
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Did Cooper Throw Shade at Jon Gruden?
Cooper seems to happy where he’s at now and is hoping to sign an extension with his new team. He put up 725 yards in just nine games in Dallas after just putting up 280 yards in six games with the Raiders. Though talks have stagnated, it’s unlikely the Cowboys will let him slip away. Cooper did make it to the pro bowl his first two seasons in Oakland, but his last two were not nearly as impressive. It looks like his change of scenery will pay huge dividends for his career. If he can reach his goal of getting 2,000 receiving yards in 2019, nobody in Dallas would complain about losing that 2019 first round draft pick that the Raiders eventually used on safety Johnathan Abram.
Cooper seems to be happy to not be in Oakland anymore. Gruden and he were likely not going to be able to make it work. Cooper recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and was asked what he missed about the Raiders.
“I miss my teammates,” Cooper said after a long pause.
It doesn’t seem like many things he missed came to Cooper’s head. Who could blame him? If he’d stayed in Oakland, he probably wouldn’t have gotten a very good contract after the 2019 season. It is noteworthy that he singled out his teammates. He didn’t mention the organization, the coaches or the fans. With the addition of superstar Antonio Brown, it’s likely that they won’t miss him either. Cooper had really bad drop problems when he was in Oakland and it was often to the frustration of fans.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he doesn’t miss Jon Gruden. Either Gruden didn’t know how to utilize him, or Cooper just wasn’t a good fit. Either way, both sides seem to be better off. The Raiders have a new look receiving corps that looks to put up big numbers and Cooper is Dak Prescott’s favorite target. Cooper succeeded when he first started in Oakland. It would be wise for Cowboy fans to wait and see what they have in Cooper before they get too excited.
Cooper also dropped a little nugget on ESPN’s First Take and insinuated that it feels more like he’s in the NFL now that he’s a Cowboy.
Gruden now has what many consider to be one of the top three receivers in the NFL with Antonio Brown. Brown won’t be as quiet as Cooper if he isn’t getting his usual production. 2019 will definitely tell the world if Cooper or Gruden was the problem.
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