Amari Cooper finally got to play a full season with the Dallas Cowboys and the results were mixed. While he showed flashes of dominance, he disappeared in big spots during the season and suffered some of the same issues he did with the Raiders.
David Carr of NFL.com wrote about Cooper’s best fits in February and took a couple of shots at the wide receiver. While it’s easy to dismiss his take because his brother is the current quarterback for the Raiders, Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated pointed that out:
So Amari Cooper is plagued by a lack of “competitiveness and fire,” an inability to be “the No. 1 guy” and ignorance as how to “play the position in all aspects, including (again) ‘competitiveness’?”
We could try to dismiss this criticism by noting that the author is the former NFL quarterback David Carr. Whose brother is Derek Carr. Who plays for the Raiders team that gave up on Cooper and in the process seemingly spread rumors about his “lack of desire.”
Cooper hasn’t been particularly kind to the Raiders since he was traded and is not liked by the fan base. It’s safe to say that Carr would have some bias against him, but it’s also hard to argue against the case he is making.
There’s Truth to What Carr Is Saying
Fisher pointed out Carr’s bias but also pointed out that what the former NFL quarterback is saying has been echoed by non-biased parties. A report came out from Bryan Broaddus that stated Cooper may not have enough “desire” to warrant the Cowboys paying him $20 million a year. Fisher noted this:
Or we can report an inside-The-Star truth: As Broaddus suggests, there are Cowboys decision-makers who are raising the same questions that Carr is noting. That Amari’s flaws – to put them into one sentence, “a passive-aggressiveness off the field and a lack of aggressiveness on it” – are very real.
And that before the Jones family starts writing checks of $16 mil or $18 mil or $20 mil to Amari Cooper, they’d like to get some answers to these very real questions.
It should be a real concern for the Cowboys. It’s easy to forget that Cooper looked awesome during his first two seasons with the Raiders. It didn’t take long for him to become completely irrelevant to them and Dallas could fear that could happen again once he gets paid.
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Will Cooper Become the Highest-Paid WR in the NFL?
The Cowboys wouldn’t be wise to give Cooper a massive contract. He was eighth in the NFL in receiving yards and ninth in receiver touchdowns. While those are strong numbers, they aren’t the numbers you’d expect from the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. The Cowboys gave a first-round pick to the Raiders when they traded for Cooper, so they obviously want to keep him.
Luckily for them, it’s hard to imagine any team will be willing to give Cooper $20 million a year. He’s among the 10 best wide receivers in the NFL right now, but his past would suggest he’s way too inconsistent to trust. It would make much more sense for him to receive something in the $15 million a year range.
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