When the Dallas Cowboys started 3-4 last season it was clear that Quarterback Dak Prescott desperately needed a reliable number one option at wide receiver. Although he had been named Offensive Rookie of the Year and set an NFL record for completion percentage in a quarterbacks first three years Prescott still lacked the all-important go-to receiver that he could rely on consistently. The Cowboys would send a first-round pick in 2019 to Oakland and acquire Amari Cooper via trade prior to week 9. The Cowboys offense has a brand new dimension that has carried over from last season to now, with no end in sight.
In the nine games Cooper played in 2018 for Dallas he had 53 receptions for 725 yards and 6 touchdowns. It’s not often a receiver connects that quickly with a new signal-caller with virtually no time to prepare before their first game together. Nonetheless, the Cowboys won seven of the nine games Cooper played in finishing 10-6 and winning the NFC East crown. This set up high expectations for Cooper and his chemistry with Prescott going into a full season in 2019.
Cooper came into the new season on the final year of his rookie deal with plans on earning the right to be one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL. Even with early success in Dallas, Cooper felt he still had work to do when asked if he should be one of the highest-paid players at his position during an interview on the Dan Patrick show back in June.
“Not now. Definitely looking forward to earning that respect and definitely looking forward to coming into this year and just putting up those numbers for my team and really showing what I can do in a full season as a Dallas Cowboy,” Cooper said. “I know that I have the skillset to be one of the highest-paid receivers. I’m just all about going out there and proving it.”
It didn’t take long for Cooper to make his impact felt in the Cowboys season opener against the New York Giants. In a blowout 35-17 win, he would rack up 106 yards and a touchdown on 6 receptions. He would only have 44 yards against the Redskins a week later but did manage to reach the end zone. Against the Dolphins he had 6 receptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns, his third multi-touchdown game as a Dallas Cowboy.
So far this season Cooper has 16 receptions for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. That’s a pace of 85 receptions for 1,269 yards and 21 touchdowns. Reaching across the goal line that many times in a season for a receiver is highly unlikely, considering it’s only been down twice, but I can definitely see the receptions and yards holding up. Cooper has caught 16 of 21 passes thrown in his direction (76.2%) in 2019, further cementing his connection with Prescott.
Amari Cooper has made the Cowboys offense much more dimensionalized and harder to defend since joining the team last season. Adding a true number one option to arguably the league’s top rusher in Ezekiel Elliott makes it more difficult to load the box against the run. The first round price tag might have seemed a bit much in the beginning, but Copper has shown in his first twelve games in a Cowboys uniform he was worth the investment.