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Should Cowboys WR Amari Cooper be “On Notice” in 2021?

has done his job since the traded for him in 2018, filling the role of number-one receiver on the field and making the twice. But with huge contracts come huge expectations, and that's led at least one source to claim that Cooper may be heading into a make-or-break season in 2021.

On this morning's Shan & RJ show on 105.3 The FAN this morning, host Shan Shariff said that Cooper is “on notice” this season. He said that he's he's heard “whispers” that the team is frustrated with Amari's perceived lack of competitive drive and occasional issues.

Cooper is one of a few players, including , , and , to begin this year's on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He's still dealing rehabbing from ankle surgery.

The soundbite with Shan's comments can be found here:

As Shan brings out, there is a logical landscape that could lead to Cooper's . Dallas will have two more years of 's rookie deal with a 5th-year option in 2024, plus the potential to re-sign at a lower price than Amari.

At an average total compensation of $20m per year Cooper is currently the 4th-most expensive WR in football. He is scheduled to count $22 million against Dallas' each of the next four seasons.

It's not wild speculation to suggest that the Cowboys could consider cutting Amari after 2021. The dead money on Cooper's contract will drop to just $6 million next year, meaning $16 million in cap relief if Dallas were to release or him.

If the plan is to dump Cooper for Gallup then it's worth noting that most, if not all, of that money would go to Gallup's second contract. But with Michael two years younger than Amari and having a proven chemistry with , Dallas could decide it's money better spent.

That said, this isn't a case of a player underperforming their contract. Cooper has had over 1,100 yards and not missed a game in the last two seasons for Dallas. For whatever criticisms there are of his personality or lack thereof, he's been a franchise WR where it matters.

This is a great problem to have for the Cowboys; the luxury of having to cut one great player to keep one you may like a little better. And of course, those “whispers” than Shan mentioned this morning may not have much substance to begin with.

Still, the idea that Amari Cooper could be in trouble after this season isn't outside the realm. He will have one of the ripest contracts on the roster for being a cap casualty and that's always a cause for concern.

Hopefully, his play in 2021 makes him indispensable.


Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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