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Ron Rivera said that Washington chased Amari Cooper all the way to the very end in free agency

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Close, but no cigar for Washington.

NFL - Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It was about a month ago that free agency in the NFL began and while the Dallas Cowboys may not have done everything that we wanted them to, they definitely took care of a lot of things. One of the biggest things that Dallas did was retaining one of their own when they re-signed Amari Cooper to a brand new gigantic contract.

There were reports that the Washington Redskins were in on Amari Cooper and that they even offered him more money than the Cowboys ultimately did. This would mean that Cooper turned down the opportunity to earn more in the name of playing with America’s Team, and he is worth every penny.

Ron Rivera said that Washington was in fact chasing Amari Cooper

Much like the players on his roster, Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera said this week that the front office chased Amari Cooper all the way to the very end. Washington really wanted Cooper and missed out. You hate to see it.

“Amari was someone that we chased very hard all the way up to the very end,” Rivera said. “He decided to return to Dallas. We were in it and we were talking about the substantial money. But at the end of the day, he made a decision he felt was best for him and we respect it.”

Washington has a significant need at receiver, with Terry McLaurin existing as the only legitimate threat. The Redskins’ push for Cooper was twofold: It would address the No. 1 receiver void, and it would steal a weapon from a division rival. That combination was worth “substantial” money. When Cooper decided to stay in Dallas — to the tune of five years and $100 million — the Redskins were left only to regroup, eventually signing Cody Latimer and leaving empty the No. 1 role.

”That’s a tough one,” Rivera said. “We would’ve loved to have him as part of what we’re trying to do. We believe he would’ve been a great veteran presence in the room, especially for those young guys that played last year and had success with this football team. We would’ve felt good about having a veteran guy like that who’s had success in this league as part of what you’re trying to do.”

Cooper has said many times that he wants to achieve all that there is to within the National Football League and it makes sense that he would believe the Cowboys are more capable of that than Washington. Part of the reason that Ron Rivera was even hired there is to fix the dumpster fire that the organization has become, perhaps no amount of money can convince someone to join it in some cases.

The Cowboys have largely dominated Washington in recent memory and Cooper is a big reason why in the games that he has played within the rivalry. Thankfully there will be more and with Cooper on the right side.