By: Bryce Fields
It is no secret to anyone that the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders have had their fair share of problems this year. Dallas is 3-4 on the season heading into their bye week due to inconsistent play by essentially everyone not named Ezekiel Elliot. The Raiders seemingly don’t have a clue what is going on behind new head coach Jon Gruden, trading superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack before the season began and are now 1-5 on the year.
Now, the two are working together to try and turn their seasons around – sort of.
Oakland has traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cowboys in return for a first round pick, giving Dallas the stud receiver that quarterback Dak Prescott has desperately needed. As for the Raiders, well, at least they have three first round picks next year as they continue tanking their season away.
But seriously, Cowboys, what the hell is going on? Cooper may be better than any receiver currently on your roster (sorry for the disrespect, Cole Beasley) but I am not sure this is the way to do it. You have a chance to win the division, but chances of postseason success are minimal with the shaky defense and inconsistent offense they have already.
Not to mention that Amari Cooper comes with his own set of problems. He was great in the first two seasons of their career, averaging over 1,000 yards per season and hauling in 11 total touchdowns. However, the last season he couldn’t get to 700 yards total and missed a couple games due to a lingering ankle injury. This season he has 22 catches for 280 yards, which is average but not is not the star quality receiver the Cowboys are hoping he is.
Maybe the biggest issue for Cooper is the simple fact he has a tough time catching the football, which is pretty damn important when you play wide receiver in the NFL. He led the league in drops with 18 his rookie season in 2015, and last season led the league in drop rate at 17.2 percent. In the past decade, only two to other players have had such as hard time catching the ball, making Cooper’s issues not common at all.
So, is Amari Cooper the answer for the Cowboys? Cooper does have an immense amount of talent and is a young 24 years old, so he definitely could step up and become the legit #1 receiver threat Dallas needs. However, not only is Cooper’s track record not on their side, but neither is the Cowboys’ history trading for wideouts. They sent two first round picks for Joey Galloway in 2000, who went on to tear his ACL in the first game of his Dallas career and be a complete bust (also, one of those first round picks became running back Shaun Alexander, who was pretty good at football). The Cowboys also traded their first round pick in 2009 plus three more for Roy Williams, who in 40 games with Dallas had only 94 catchers and 13 touchdowns. Yikes.
Maybe Amari Cooper is the answer for Dallas. Maybe he will start to catch the football more. Maybe the Cowboys will have finally made a good wide receiver trade.
But for now, the forecast doesn’t look any better for America’s Team.