Change is coming to the Dallas Cowboys‘ offense, and it won’t be limited to coordinator Kellen Moore’s probable departure.
Multiple team insiders believe star wide receiver Amari Cooper may have played his final game in a silver and blue uniform following Dallas’ upset loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Super Wild Card Weekend.
“This team will be nothing like you just saw in 2021,” Bryan Broaddus of 105.3 The Fan warned Sunday, January 16. “Stephen Jones knows that. It’s why Zeke and Amari were sad in post game.”
Cooper finished second on the club with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown amid the 23-17 defeat at AT&T Stadium. Thus ended a disappointing campaign for the former Pro Bowl wideout, who posted 865 receiving yards and eight TDs on 68 grabs across 15 appearances — his lowest output since 2017.
Thanks for the memories?
“I feel like Amari Cooper’s gone,” 105.3 The Fan’s Bobby Belt said Monday, January 17. “That’s just a sense I get, nobody’s told me that.”
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Coop on Return: ‘I Don’t Know’
Turning 28 in June, Cooper — he of the five-year, $100 million pact — is under contract with Dallas through 2024. He’s scheduled to count $22 million against the team’s salary cap next season, and his $20 million base salary will become fully guaranteed if rostered on the fifth day of the 2022 league year, per Spotrac.com.
The cash-strapped Cowboys, more than $13.5 million over the cap as of this writing, can create $20 million of space by declaring Cooper a post-June 1 trade, leaving behind only $2 million in dead money. Dealing him prior to June 1 would free $16 million but increase the dead money hit to $6 million.
With fellow starter Michael Gallup headed for unrestricted free agency, the Cowboys likely are unwilling to lose both WRs this offseason, emptying the cupboard behind CeeDee Lamb. But Cooper, already traded once in his career, is never saying never.
“I don’t make those decisions,” he said of returning to Dallas, via beat reporter Calvin Watkins. “I honestly don’t know, but hopefully.”
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Amari Discusses Costly Penalties vs. SF
Buried under the weight of the controversial ending to Sunday’s playoff opener were the 14 penalties committed by the home team, tying a single-game NFL postseason record. These infractions often stalled Dallas’ once-high-flying offense, which was held to 307 total yards and just two touchdowns by a stingy 49ers counterpart.
It’s one thing to criticize the officials for what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones termed an “extraordinarily disappointing letdown.” It’s another to pin the entirety of blame on the zebras — and Cooper refused.
“It might be easy to sit up here and talk about how the refs called the game and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, it was a combination of both,” he said after the game, via beat reporter Brianna Dix. “We needed to be more disciplined and then obviously, the refs have to call the game better.”