It didn’t take long after the Dallas Cowboys selected CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for fans to begin messing with the wide receiver depth chart to find players that could help at other positions, namely the defense.
A lot of the talk surrounded Michael Gallup, still on his rookie deal, but because he erupted for a 1,100-yard season in 2019, many fans began to hypothesize trade scenarios including Amari Cooper. Cooper who just signed a five-year deal worth $100 million overall and $40 million guaranteed was now thought to be a liability that the Cowboys could potentially move for some defensive help.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s this; no matter how good your wide receiver group looks, you don’t trade away a legit number one wide receiver when you have one. And Amari Cooper is proving over and over again that he’s that guy.
To say that the Cowboys have lacked continuity on the offensive side of the football is to put it kindly. It’s been shambles everywhere but the wide receiver, running back, and tight end positions. At the most important position in the game, the Cowboys have now started four different quarterbacks. And over the span of four weeks, they went from Andy Dalton to Ben DiNucci to Garrett Gilbert and then back to Andy Dalton, who they seem dead set on being their starter for the remainder of the season.
With so much turnover at the quarterback position, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Amari Cooper’s numbers take a significant dip. However, regardless of the circumstances under center, Cooper continues to grind and make plays for the Cowboys’ offense.
Amari Cooper is currently seventh in the NFL in receptions and 11th in yards. Among the 13 players in the NFL with at least 90 targets this season, Cooper is just one of just seven players with two or fewer drops on the season. Of those players with at least 90 targets only Tyler Boyd, Terry McLaurin, and Allen Robinson have had to deal with playing with multiple quarterbacks this season like Cooper has.
It shows tremendous consistency on the part of Amari, who was off to a stellar start to the season prior to Dak Prescott’s injury. Since that time, his yards per reception has increased from 10.9 to 13.3 after the injury.
Amari Cooper has been a dynamic player for the Cowboys since he was brought over from the then Oakland Raiders back in 2018. He’s been one of their most valuable players. As we saw in 2019 while dealing with a foot injury he’s an essential piece to the offense. Cooper has been one of the few bright spots on the offense since Dak Prescott went down earlier in the season.
As good as CeeDee Lamb has been this season, it’s evident the importance of Amari Cooper to this offense. On pace for 103 receptions on 138 targets for 1,233 yards, and four touchdowns with such inconsistent play at quarterback is pretty amazing. It will be nice to get Cooper back together with Dak Prescott so they can reprise the early part of 2020 when Cooper was on pace for 124 receptions, 170 targets, 1,357 yards, and four touchdowns.
As wide receiver contracts and numbers across the league as a whole continue to rise to exorbitant levels, Amari Cooper’s contract will look like a bargain in no time. He’s proven now for three seasons the type of player that he is. Even in a down year for quarterback play, Cooper continues to produce with regularity.