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More than a mindset, Amari Cooper seeks to prove himself as the best receiver in the league

The Cowboys star receiver is focused taking advantage of his opportunities to prove himself the best receiver in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Nobody questions Amari Cooper’s production over six seasons, and realistically how could they when he’s hauled in 449 passes for more than 6,200 yards and 38 touchdowns since coming out of Alabama? In Dallas, Cooper has found yet another gear, logging nearly half of his total yardage (3,028), and half of his career receptions (224) and touchdowns (19) in just two and a half seasons wearing the star. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler and a game-breaking threat just about every time he touches the ball.

What he hasn’t done yet is earn the distinction of being considered the best receiver in the league. That doesn’t stop him from believing it himself, however.

While most star receivers are flashier in their “look at me” antics, Cooper is understated as a pro, letting his play do whatever talking necessary. Still, it’s good he’s not trying to override logic or objective reality in proclaiming himself to be the best despite never leading the league in yards, touchdowns, or receptions. But how does he compare to other big-name receivers since entering the league?

Again, the key focus here is 2015, when Cooper entered the league. That means guys like Julio Jones, who entered the league in 2011, will have their stats reduced to Cooper’s window for the sake of head-to-head comparison.

Amari Cooper (2015-Present): 449 rec, 6,211 yds, 38 TDs

Stefon Diggs (2015-Present): 492 rec, 6,158 yds, 38 TDs

Michael Thomas (2016-Present): 510 rec, 5,950 yds, 32 TDs

Julio Jones (2015-Present): 570 rec, 8,566 yds, 34 TDs

DeAndre Hopkins (2015-Present): 619 rec, 7,997 yds, 52 TDs

Devante Adams (2015-Present): 508 rec, 6,122 yds, 59 TDs

While Cooper’s numbers are comparable to most of the names on this list, he trails each by a healthy margin in most categories, with a few notable exceptions.

  1. Cooper holds a narrow lead in receiving yards over Stefon Diggs and is tied in touchdowns
  2. He leads Michael Thomas in touchdowns, but then Thomas has one less year of service to his name
  3. He leads Devante Adams in receiving yards but is dwarfed in receptions and touchdowns thanks to Adams’ 18 receiving touchdowns last season.

As for the other names on this list, it’s hardly a surprise. Julio Jones, even if you set aside his first four years in the league, is going to top most stat charts. DeAndre Hopkins astoundingly has hauled in nearly fifty more receptions than Jones over that stretch. For those running the math, that’s 170 more than Coop.

The fact that Cooper trails most of these guys isn’t to marginalize Cooper’s production or be dismissive of his belief in his ability. It’s merely a simple comparison among elite receivers in the game today.

Amari Cooper is a route-running connoisseur and has made the Cowboys' offense immensely more potent since joining the team in late October of 2018. Whether or not he stands quite at the same level as the other guys on this list, he’s a game-changer for the passing game and has been a big part of Dak Prescott’s growth into a capable an elite QB.