The Dallas Cowboys have had Amari Cooper for a little over a year and some fans of the team are starting to sound like fans of the Oakland Raiders. Games in which he disappears and drops passes are beginning to happen once again for Cooper. The wide receiver had one of his worst games as a Cowboy in arguably his most important game with the team. In a must-win matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cooper caught just four passes for 24 yards and was reportedly benched towards the end of the game.
It’s not a good look for a player who is in a contract year and is likely expecting to receive a top-tier contract. Skip Bayless of Fox Sports Undisputed is one of the most prominent Cowboys fans in media and absolutely ripped into Cooper.
“Guess who was in and out of the game for my Dallas Cowboys?” asked Bayless. “A guy who about mid-season this year Pro Football Focus ranked as the number one receiver in all of pro football. The guy that credited last year [for] turning around the whole season. I credited Jerry Jones with fleecing the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden for Amari Cooper by only giving a first-round pick for Amari Cooper. Guess what? Today, Jon Gruden looks right, he looks smart. Way to go, Jon, you fleeced Jerry Jones because I cannot explain what happened to Amari Cooper this year. I cannot explain why he was waving out in the two series. What are you doing? You’re waving out, you’re not on the injury report.”
Amari Cooper Admits He Played ‘Terrible’
Cooper has been one of the most important offensive pieces for the Cowboys since he joined the team. If he starts to disappear more often, the Dallas offense will continue to struggle. Cooper admitted he wasn’t playing at his best on Sunday.
“On my behalf, I know I didn’t play my best game at all,” Cooper admitted, via CBS Sports. “It was terrible. When you play important games like this, everybody has to come and bring their ‘A’ game if we really want to win. I don’t think we did that tonight.”
It will be interesting to see if Cooper can bounceback. He was very hot and cold in Oakland. He’d disappear for long stretches and then have a monster game out of nowhere. It was looking like that was just because of the Raiders, but now it’s just starting to look like that’s who he is. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the Raiders didn’t believe that Cooper loved football. The wide receiver isn’t going to silence doubters with performances like the one in Week 16.
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Are the Raiders Better off Without Cooper?
Thanks to many productive games since moving to Dallas, the Raiders were starting to look like the loser of the Cooper trade. Considering there was almost no way he was going to re-sign, it’s hard to call Oakland a loser in this deal. Cooper struggling in Dallas also gives the Raiders more ammo. It’s probably an over-exaggeration to say Jon Gruden “fleeced” the Cowboys because the Raiders haven’t seen enough of Johnathan Abram yet, the player the team drafted with the Dallas pick.
Now, if Cooper leaves for another team in free agency, then the Raiders are 100 percent the winners. This especially stands true if Dallas doesn’t make the playoffs, as it would mean they gave up a first-round pick and won only one playoff game with Cooper. Free agency should be very interesting.