There’s something to be admired about a crisply run wide receiver's route. The intricacy, the nuances, the fleet-footedness and sharp-edged cutting ability, all of it fuses together seamlessly to create a sweet treat for the eyes to see. And when it results in a big-play gain, or a highlight-worthy ankle-breaker, that sweet treat becomes that much greater.
There have been countless receivers who have laid claim to exquisite route-running traits. Some just burn past helpless defensive backs with their unfathomable speed. For others, it’s not necessarily their brisk gait that predicates their route-running greatness, but decisive foot-work and ability to stop and turn that leaves defenders vulnerable in their wake.
Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has that quintessential blend of haste, and fluid grace that takes his outside abilities to an entirely different level. That reputation has followed No. 19 in blue and white since his college playing days with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
He put up noteworthy receiving totals while patrolling the sidelines under Nick Saban’s potent offensive regime, and while his ability to gain yardage after the catch was one of a kind, his ability to lose defenders before ever touching the ball was out of this world.
And some folks are still perusing the outer realms of the multiverse for some semblance of human in his otherworldly separation ability.
I mean, just look at this:
Coop is all too aware of the special talent he possesses and he’s poised to spread that awareness the rest of the cumulative football community.
Cooper is now heading a new brand called “The Route Runner” (see post above) that promotes and emphasizes the art of the route, and the distinctive qualities that evoke success for those run them.
The page’s first post had this caption:
“If you can beat what’s in front of you, you too are a route runner.”
The brand will seemingly encapsulate much more from a humanistic perspective than football escapades, and accentuate universal concepts like perseverance and odds-beating.
Among the brand supporters: his all-important teammates, Dak Prescott.
Coop already has the title of premier route-runner under his belt, but in 2021, he wants to show that he’s the best at his position. Period.
“There’s a difference between thinking you’re the best and actually going out there and proving it. Do I think I’m the best? Yes. Have I proven it? I wouldn’t say I have.”
“There are guys who have actually put up some great numbers, they’ve taken advantage of their opportunities and stuff like that. I’m just still trying to take advantage of my opportunities and trying to put up those numbers to lead the league in yards, touchdowns, all across the board really.”
That pursuit may be a bit difficult given the men he shares his WR room with.
But Coop’s expertise and IQ are on an entirely different level, and if there’s going to be any year for him to prove his naysayers wrong, this is it.