Cowboys Finalize Big Roster Move with Amari Cooper: Report

Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

Getty Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

The Curious Case of Amari Cooper has taken another harrowing turn.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday placed the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to open training camp.

The team also sent defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence (back), Trysten Hill (ACL) and Chauncey Golston (hamstring), kicker Greg Zuerlein (back), and offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (knee) to the PUP list.

“Hill and Hyatt likely need the most rehab time compared to others,” Archer noted.

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Cooper Recovering Slower Than Expected?

After being held out of offseason practices, it was revealed by Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy that Cooper is “still working through” the remnants of an ankle injury — an injury that Cooper had surgically repaired on Jan. 7, nearly seven months ago.

Previous reporting indicated the 27-year-old would be “cutting it close” for camp, though neither McCarthy nor those connected to the Cowboys appear overly concerned about Cooper’s 2021 prospects.

“Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper may not be ready for the start of training camp due to an ankle injury. It is not viewed as a major injury, but an ‘irritation’ in his ankle that came to be roughly two weeks ago and it has prohibited Cooper from running,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in June. “Cooper is unlikely to be able to run for the next two-three weeks, because rest is needed to remedy the ankle. The reasoning behind him missing the start of camp and possibly ending up on the physically unable to perform list comes amid concern that with his inability to run, Cooper might not be in proper shape to avoid reinjuring the ankle at that time.”

“Amari Cooper and Dallas Cowboys training camp are about to cross paths, and despite the fact that the Pro Bowl receiver is still recovering from foot surgery, a source tells that the club is unconcerned about any long-term issues,” Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher detailed last month. “We have noted before, back on June 10, that the recovery, slow as it might be, is ‘not a crisis.'”

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Amari Could Lose WR1 Status

A “prominent” organizational source recently divulged to Mike Fisher of that rising sophomore star CeeDee Lamb may “overtake” Cooper as Dallas’ No. 1 WR this season.

“There is talk inside The Star about second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb being the guy on the rise – maybe even rising above Amari Cooper in the 2021 NFL season,” Fisher wrote on July 12.

Fisher projects a “healthy competition” between Cooper, who paced the Cowboys with 1,114 receiving yards in 2020, and the club’s first-round investment fast-tracking to alpha-dog status. The two (and Michael Gallup) figure to duke it out during the preseason — emphasis on “healthy” — and whichever pass-catcher shows better with quarterback Dak Prescott will carry the vaunted WR1 title.

“I’m not concerned. …When you see him, he’s in great shape.” Better than he was even last year,” McCarthy said of Cooper on Thursday, via the Dallas Morning News.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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