When it comes to landing a big contract, timing is everything and the Cowboys new receiver might be waiting it out for the most opportune moment.
Jones could become the highest-paid receiver in the league, and that would definitely impact the Cooper negotiations. Indeed, the Cowboys may be trying to base Cooper’s deal on the $13.924 million that he’s due to make this year and the franchise tag (at least $17 million) in 2020, which works out to $31 million or so over the all-important first two years, an average of $15.5 million annually.
If Jones gets more than $18 million per year in new money on his extension in Atlanta, Cooper may aim higher than the formula generated by his first-round option year and the franchise tag.
5 things you need to know about Cowboys WR Amari Cooper’s contract negotiations - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
Here are five things too keep in mind about Cooper’s contract, including how he’s just getting started in Dallas.
2. Just the beginning
Cooper made his case last season as the key piece in Dallas’ transformation into a playoff team. The Cowboys went 3-4 without Cooper. They went 7-2 with him, and he led the team with 725 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
As important as that before and after is, the Cowboys are even more focused on where Cooper goes from here. After quickly incorporating Cooper mid-season, they’re getting a full offseason together. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is scheming for Cooper, who is getting more and more comfortable with Prescott.
“[He’s] becoming more comfortable in our style of football,” receivers coach Sanjay Lal said during OTAs. “He’s a great athlete, he can do whatever he sets his mind to. He’s really bought into the speed component of this offense, showing vertical push in all the routes, changing some steps that he’s not used to doing in the past. He’s just done a great job of buying in and now mastering it.”
Fantasy Football: Amari Cooper now ‘main vein’ of Dallas’ passing attack - Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
How much Cooper is worth is up for debate, but one thing we should all agree on is he should be a strong fantasy player on the Cowboys offense.
Fantasy players benefited in a big way once Cooper went to Dallas. And now, heading into the start of the 2019 campaign, Cooper is a borderline No. 1 Fantasy receiver worth drafting toward the end of Round 2 or beginning of Round 3 in all formats.
Prescott’s Fantasy value also improved dramatically once the Cowboys acquired Cooper. In the 11 games together, including the playoffs, Prescott scored at least 21 Fantasy points six times. He averaged 21.5 Fantasy points with Cooper on his side. In seven games without Cooper, Prescott averaged 17.4 Fantasy points.
It didn’t take long for Amari to fit in. Will new addition Randall Cobb take long to adjust?
Cobb knew coach Mike McCarthy’s offense so well in Green Bay and understood what quarterback Aaron Rodgers wanted so much that very little threw him off. With the Cowboys, he is learning coordinator Kellen Moore’s offense and starting to understand what quarterback Dak Prescott wants.
“Since I’ve been here, we’re going through the installations, and I’m having a little bit of a mental challenge as far as so many of the same plays being different calls,” Cobb said. “Just trying to get more acclimated to the playcalling here, and making sure I’m using the right terminology so I’m on the same page with everybody.”
Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb bring excitement to the offense, but it could be the second-year receiver who turns some heads this year.
Dallas Cowboys X-factor player is Michael Gallup.
The reason I say it’s Gallup is that he would be able to force teams to defend the opposite side of the field. He came on late last season and if he can continue to grow then teams will be forced to honor his playmaking ability. It will also take the focus off of fellow receiver Amari Cooper who will assuredly face double teams majority of the season. If Gallup plays well he will also open up the field for both tight end Jason Witten and new slot receiver Randall Cobb. Gallup has all the ability in the world to become a very dangerous number two receiver in the NFL. The Cowboys just have to hope he can take that next step this season.
The wide receiver position group is one to keep a close eye on as there are bound to be some surprises.
I could see the Cowboys keeping up to seven wide receivers on the final-53 due to their talent. That means Dallas would likely only carry two quarterbacks and possibly just three tight ends on their final roster. You have to believe the team will go heavy at offensive line this year considering the recent injury history of both starting center Travis Frederick and left tackle Tyron Smith. Even All-Pro guard Zack Martin was forced to miss two games last season due to injury for the first time in his five-year career. Keeping seven WR’s seems like too many, but even then - you have to make some tough decisions.
Which ones would you keep?
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What does each NFL team need to do prior to the preseason? Bleacher Report examines every team and comes up with a to-do list.
A large part of the Dallas Cowboys’ remaining offseason involves extensions. The team needs to get new deals done with quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper to ensure that contract drama doesn’t hang over the offseason.
While Ezekiel Elliott is also eligible for a new deal, a bigger priority is keeping him healthy. Even good running backs are replaceable, but Elliott is a huge part of the offense, and he’ll be asked to carry a significant load in 2019.
Getting former quarterback Kellen Moore ready for life as an offensive coordinator is another goal. He has experience with the franchise, but he spent just one season as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to his current position.
Prescott is entering a contract year, and there is no time like the present to put together a big season. Here’s why this could be a breakout year for the Cowboys young quarterback.
Prescott struggled early in the 2019 season, but it’s hard to blame him for the offensive performance. Entering the season, Prescott’s top options in the passing game were Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and a rookie Michael Gallup. This trio represented one of the worst receiving corps in the league and Prescott couldn’t turn this trio into a functioning unit. Through the first seven games of the season, Prescott completed 62% of his passes for just 1,417 yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions. His 87.4 passer rating would have ranked 27th in the league had he maintained that 16-game pace.
However, Prescott’s play dramatically improved when the Cowboys acquired a true top wide receiver in Amari Cooper. Now given a legitimate playmaker, Prescott transformed into an above-average starter. Over the final nine games of the season, Prescott completed 71.3% of his passes for 2,468 yards, 14 touchdowns, and four interceptions. His 103.0 passer rating would have been seventh-best in the NFL over a 16-game stretch.
What Would a Successful Season Mean for Kellen Moore’s Future? - Mauricio Rodriquez, Inside The Star
How much confidence do fans in their new offensive coordinator? So much that they’re already worried about losing him.
With a great group of talent at his disposal, it’s fair to imagine Moore having a pretty successful “rookie” season at a major coaching position. If he indeed manages to turn heads with the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2019, what does that mean for his future? In a league that’s turning to the young offensive-minded coaches thanks to guys like Sean McVay, is it possible one team decides to pull the trigger and make him an offer for a head coaching gig?
It certainly would seem premature, but it’s still a possibility in the NFL, where teams have become increasingly impatient with their coaches. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if next offseason, we’re concerned about another team (college or NFL) trying to snatch Moore off the Cowboys. I insist in pointing out this would be a premature decision if it does happen, since Moore has very little experience, but looking at the trend in the NFL it certainly could happen.
Donovan McNabb believes his numbers are better than Troy Aikman’s. Is he right? - Alaina Getzenberg,SportsDay
McNabb channels his inner Rodney Dangerfield as he pleads his case for a gold jacket.
When thinking of players that had better careers than Troy Aikman, there are a few quarterbacks that could come to mind. Donovan McNabb typically isn’t one of them. McNabb, however, disagrees. He believes that he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame right beside Aikman. The former Eagles QB was not shy about sharing his feelings.
“Absolutely, and I’m not hesitating on that. ... My numbers speak for themselves.” McNabb said when asked if he is a Hall of Famer. “My numbers are better than Troy Aikman’s, but he has Super Bowl rings and he’s played with Hall of Famers as well.”