Amari Cooper Can Bring the Missing Spark Back to Dallas
Late Monday, the Oakland Raiders traded away Amari Cooper, their 2015 first-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys. In exchange for the wide receiver, the Raiders received a 2019 first-round pick.
The Cowboys have had trouble so far this season with their receiving core. Former Cowboys’ star tight end Jason Witten retired at the end of the 2018 season. Adding to the Cowboys’ frenzy, star receiver Dez Bryant was released in mid-Aprill. Dallas sits at 3-4 and third in the NFC East.
In his first two seasons with the Raiders, Cooper recorded 2,223 yards and 11 touchdowns. Although he has been a bit stagnant so far this season with only 280 yards and a touchdown.
Joining Dallas could be a huge step for Cooper’s career. His big-play ability is something that Dallas so desperately needs and quarterback Dak Prescott will be able to deliver the big throws. Yet, since Tyron Smith was injured last November, Prescott hasn’t looked the same. Arguably because he hardly has anyone surrounding him. Cooper has a couple of drops on the season, a few times when it matters most. But he has proven that he can be a reliable threat.
The trio of running back Zeke Elliott, Cooper and Prescott will sure put a damper on any team that will face Dallas through the rest of the season. Looking at the stats for the season, the passing game ranks 29th in the NFL. Wide receiver Cole Beasley leads the Cowboys with 33 catches for 350 yards and two touchdowns. No other wide receiver on the team has more than 13 catches.
A Race to the Finish
The Cowboys are just trying to win right now. The division race has been tight all season. Dallas has been missing that spark they had when they were one of the NFC teams to beat back in the 2016 season. Cooper could bring that spark back to Dallas and bring life back to an offense that has had multiple struggles through the season.
Cooper is set to play 2019 under a fifth-year option worth roughly $13.9 million. Cap space won’t be an issue for the Cowboys. Although they want to re-sign leading pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and cornerback Byron Jones, as well as looking at long-term deals for Elliot and Prescott.
Dallas’s defense has been able to hold their opposing teams to an average of 17 points per game. Even with a 3-4 record, the division is still wide open and a chance to make the playoffs is still very likely. The stretch of the next six games includes three inner-division games as well as a trip to Atlanta and a home game against the Saints. The 3-4 Cowboys could easily get on a winning streak if the Prescott and Cooper get in a rhythm. Therefore, the pressure is on and Prescott and Cooper will be in the spotlight. Especially since they are set to face off against the Tennessee Titans at home on Monday night when they return from their bye week.