Amari Cooper: ‘You don’t want the leader of your offense to go down’
The Dallas Cowboys are desperate for a No. 1 receiver no more.
They have traded a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper ahead of the Oct. 30 trade deadline.
The move will fill a need at the position the Cowboys (3-4) have had since the release of Dez Bryant on April 13. He was the team’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions. Dallas is currently 29th in yards per game.
Cooper was the fourth overall pick of the Raiders in 2014 out of Alabama, and topped 1,000 yards in each of his first two pro seasons.
His numbers dropped last year because of injuries and he was deemed expendable after six games by new Oakland head coach Jon Gruden.
But Cooper, 24, is still young and the Cowboys are hoping he can regain the form that made him a can’t-missing receiver prospect after an All-American career with Nick Saban.
He certainly gives the Cowboys a big weapon for quarterback Dak Prescott and a threat to possibly make team’s pay for giving so much attention to running back Ezekiel Elliott and the ground game.
Elliott rushed 15 times for 33 yards in Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys’ revamped receiver corps has struggled to get on the same page with Prescott and is considered a collection of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers while lacking a bonafide No. 1 threat.
Cole Beasley leads the Cowboys with 33 catches for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He was 47th in the NFL in receptions before the Redskins game. The top two free-agent additions, Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, have 13 catches for 158 yards and 12 for 103, respectively.
This last time a desperate Cowboys team made a midseason trade for a receiver came in 2008 when they gave up first- and third-round draft picks to acquire receiver Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions.
The Cowboys later signed him to a $54 million contract extension.
It ended up being the worst trade in team history as Williams caught just 94 passes for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns in 40 games with the Cowboys.
Cooper suffered a concussion on Oct. 14 against Seattle. He is expected to be able to play when the Cowboys return from their bye week to face the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 5.
He is signed through 2019 and is due $13.9 million next season as the Raiders had already picked up the fifth year option on his rookie deal.