When the Dallas Cowboys unceremoniously released former Pro Bowler Dez Bryant in April of 2018, the overall thinking was that Dez was a shell of himself and Dak Prescott didn’t need him. Simply put, Dez was beyond his prime.
Even the most loyal fans to Dez admitted No. 88 had slipped. And that he was no longer the ultra-talented receiver who led the NFL in touchdown receptions only a couple years before. Dez couldn’t do the things that made him Dez so the thinking was, it would be better playing without a No. 1 WR is better than playing with Dez as the No. 1 WR.
Fast forward to the first seven games of the 2018 season and it was clear that the Dallas Cowboys needed someone as the No. 1 because the Dallas WR corps couldn’t create separation if their lives depended on it.
Amari Cooper was the missing piece to the puzzle for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys limped out to a 3-4 record with a receiving corps that consisted of Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Brice Butler, Cole Beasley and the rookie Michael Gallup.
In other words, the Cowboys had no legitimate outside receivers and were on the fast track to a a top-10 draft pick unless they upgraded their pass catchers somehow.
Coop might not wear the honorable #88 like Hall of Famers Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, and the promising Lamb or be perceived as a top-10 receiver, but Coop has proven his worth to the Dallas Cowboys, and this team needs him as much as they need their star studded offensive line.
Well, the Dallas Cowboys found that legitimate WR when they traded with the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper. All they did next was win the NFC East, and beat a Russell Wilson in the playoffs. Regardless of how you feel about “Coop”, the four-time Pro Bowler is crucial to the Cowboys having a successful season and then some.
Yep, ole Coop is the primary reason Dallas went 8-2 and made the playoffs, He’s the glue to Dallas’ talented receiving corps, and a key for winning the NFC East and going much farther than the second round of the playoffs.
If you’re going to praise Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Jarwin, and the rest of the receivers for their on field success, you better give credit to Coop for taking on double teams and running precise routes to open up man coverage for aforementioned receivers.
Although Gallup and Lamb still have rising ceilings (possibly even higher than Coop), neither one of them has better hands, run better routes, beat double teams more often, or has saved a team from missing the playoffs like Coop did in 2018.
If the doubters need proof of a reminder, let’s go back to Coop’s coming out party on Thanksgiving Day of 2018 against Washington Football Team. Dak targeted Coop nine times and all Coop did was catch eight passes for 180 yards, two touchdowns and secure a 31-23 victory over their long time rival.
Oh, it gets better.
Coop put up an All Pro performance against the Philadelphia Eagles late in that same season when he hauled in 10 passes for 217 yards, and three touchdowns- with the final touchdown being a tipped pass as an overtime game-winner. Those outstanding performances are the reasons why Dallas won the division that year and why Coop has some of the best career games as a Dallas receiver.
When it comes to Dallas’ ultra-talented receiving group, Coop doesn’t get his just due. It’s always Lamb as the future because he wears the generational talent number “88” and Gallup because he’s improved so much that he’s being viewed as WR1 to some. Coop is now being viewed as expendable by default. Are you kidding me?
In a strange way, Coop is seen as the odd man out, with some fans even calling for him to be traded because Gallup and Lamb are deemed to be so much better values. True, they’re good, but let’s put things into perspective.
In reality, Coop should be seen as the true number one receiver and more consistent because he’s the one that can do more than his younger teammates and had already received two Pro Bowl nods before even suiting up for Dallas. Further, Coop signed a massive contract to stay with Dallas because Jerry Jones knows what Coop means to this team and to Dak’s success.
Hey, Coop earned that contract. Period.
Let’s not forget that our man Dak doesn’t become the elite and highest paid quarterback in the league without Coop scoring all of those touchdowns and making his quarterback look good in the process. It goes both ways baby. A quarterback is only as great as his receivers make him, and vice versa.
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To be clear, I hear the negative talk about Coop pulling himself out of games because of injuries or because the weather is too cold, or whatever the case maybe. But neither one of us are on the coaching staff and most of the fans are only regurgitating what the media/talking heads are speculating.
Therefore, I can’t confirm or deny the real reason for Coop allegedly pulling himself out of games. I watch the film. That’s how I gauge and judge a players production.
All I know is that Coop had 92 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns in 2020 while playing with four quarterbacks -with Dak missing the majority of the season. That says more about Coop’s ability to produce, regardless who is under center.
Imagine what Coop is going to do with a healthy Dak throwing him passes for an entire season.
In Coop’s six year career, he’s made four pro bowls, had five 1,000 yard seasons, scored 38 touchdowns, average close to 14 yards a reception, and played in 93 games. Believe it or not, Coop will only get better because he’s only 26.
Coop might not wear the honorable #88 like Hall of Famers Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, and the promising Lamb. He may not be perceived as a top-10 receiver by some either, but Coop has proven his worth to the Dallas Cowboys, and this team needs him as much as they need their star studded offensive line.
And Cowboys Nation needs to appreciate that because Coop is crucial to Dallas’ overall success. BOOM!
- Published on 06/03/2021 at 12:15 PM
- Last updated at 06/03/2021 at 12:15 PM