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Cowboys need a more consistent Amari Cooper in 2020

The Pro Bowl wide receiver needs to find a way to eliminate his road woes.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question Amari Cooper is one of the most talented receivers in the National Football League. Since being drafted by the Raiders with the fourth overall pick in 2015, Cooper has time and time again shown his ability on the field.

In all but one of his five seasons in the NFL, Cooper has totaled over 1,000 receiving yards He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl in four of his five years, and caught 75 or more passes every year but 2017.

When the Cowboys acquired Cooper back in 2018, he single-handedly changed the Cowboys’ offense. In the nine regular season games he played for Dallas, Cooper caught 53 passes for 725 yards to go with six touchdowns. Despite playing in just nine games, Cooper led the Cowboys in receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

Last season, in his first full year in Dallas, Cooper had another successful campaign. The soon to be 26-year-old caught 79 passes for 1,189 yards, and hauled in eight touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Cooper had the ninth highest receiving grade of all wideouts last season with a score of 84.2

Cooper’s stellar play on the field garnered him a new five-year, $100 million contract from the Cowboys this offseason. It also has earned him the respect of the league as a whole. In Pro Football Focus’ recent NFL re-draft, Cooper was the 10th receiver taken at pick 46 overall.

There are players taken before him that Cooper is simply better then. Chris Godwin, taken at number 27 overall, has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark one time in his three NFL seasons. A.J. Brown, taken at number 37 overall, had less receiving yards, receptions, and average yards per game than Cooper last season. The list could go on and on. If you based a raking on talent alone, Cooper is one of the five most talented receivers in the league. But what is holding him back from being universally recognized as such? Consistency.

Last season, Cooper was a completely different player on the road versus at home. In games at AT&T Stadium, he caught 52 passes for 869 yards and five touchdowns opposed to just 27 catches for 320 yards and three touchdowns away from home. Cooper received an overall receiving grade of over 75 from PFF five times last season. All five games were at home.

Last year, Cooper’s five lowest “passer rating when targeted” scores were all games on the road. The Cowboys lost four of those five games. Also, six of his seven lowest overall offensive grades came on the road. When you look deeper into the stats, his struggles on the road are mind-boggling.

These road woes don’t just date back to last season. In 2018, Cooper more than doubled his receiving yards at home versus on the road, and caught all seven of his touchdowns passes in home games. Ever since he arrived in Dallas, Cooper has struggled to consistently preform on the road, and it’s holding him back from being widely recognized as a top three or four receiver in the game.

With rookie CeeDee Lamb in the fold, some pressure will come off Cooper to perform as a dominant number one, but his performance is not far from that mark as it is. If last season he put up half of the numbers he does at home, on the road, he would have totaled over 1,300 yards receiving and averaged over 80 yards receiving a game.

The only thing stopping Amari Cooper from being one of the three or four elite receivers in the league are his struggles on the road. If he is able to find even an ounce of consistency in 2020, Cooper easily could have the biggest year of his career.

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