Year in and year out, the Cowboys are one of the most criticized teams in the NFL. Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett is viewed as a player’s coach, which is a nice way of saying he has no control of the team. Then there is the owner. Many owners are disliked, but Jerry Jones may take the cake.
On the field, Dallas features one of the best rushing attacks led by Ezekiel Elliott, however other parts of their team are weak. They addressed one of their biggest needs last season when they acquired Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys sent a first-round pick to Oakland in exchange for the Pro Bowl wide receiver. This gave Dak Prescott a top target and made their offense stronger to compete in the NFC.
Cooper was a Pro bowl selection in each of his first two seasons as a Raider. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark during both of those seasons. Years three and four did not see the same success. The change of scenery proved to be beneficial to Cooper.
As a member of the Cowboys, Cooper played nine games. He finished with 53 catches for 725 yards and six touchdowns in Dallas.
The Cowboys’ season ended in Los Angeles, where they suffered a loss to the Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Cooper will look to lead the Cowboys back to the postseason in his first full year in Dallas.
Before the season begins, let’s get to know the Dallas receiver a little better.
4. Cooper is Alabama’s Best Receiver Ever
Cooper attended college football’s powerhouse and completely tore up the field. He played for Alabama from 2012-2014.
As a freshman, Cooper finished with 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. His junior season, and final one as a member of the Crimson Tide, was one for the record books. Cooper finished with 124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He was a Heisman finalist that year and became the second Biletnikoff Award winner in SEC history.
Alabama won two SEC Championships along with a BCS Championship when Cooper was on the field. He left Alabama as one of the most decorated players in their history, along with multiple school records. When Cooper declared for the NFL Draft, he left behind a legendary career at Alabama.
He will be the receiver at the top of Alabama’s all-time list for years to come.
3. Book Club
Everybody needs a goal. For Cooper, it was to read a different book every month in 2017. Cooper created a book club called “12 Books a Year.”
On this list includes books by Stephen King, George Orwell, and Benjamin Graham.
Cooper challenged the public to go on his journey with him.
“For a lot of different reasons. One of them was just to keep me accountable for reading, because I love learning,” Cooper told the San Francisco Chronicle when asked why he started his book club. “But sometimes, you know, you kind of push it back. So I knew if I started a book club I would have to be accountable with keeping up with the materials.”
2. Cooper was High School Teammates with Teddy Bridgewater
Cooper attended Northwestern High School in Miami before heading to Alabama.
As a junior, Cooper missed time with an injury, however his quarterback that year was a senior who also was preparing for a successful future. Teddy Bridgewater was under center for Northwestern that year.
Before playing his college ball at Louisville, Bridgewater had an impressive high school career. He finished his career with 5,277 yards and 55 passing touchdowns. He also ran for 891 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Bridegwater and Cooper connected 16 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns when they were on the field together. Both went on to have great college careers which led them to being first-round picks in the NFL.
This would have been quite a duo if they played a full high school season together.
1. Cooper and Uncle Luke
Luther “Luke” Campbell is known for being a part of the rap group 2 Live Crew.
What people might not know is that he played a big role in Cooper’s climb to the top. Campbell was the defensive coordinator for Miami Central High School when Cooper was at Northwestern.
Campbell studied film from Cooper’s sophomore year since he missed most of his junior campaign with a hip injury. Campbell remembers watching the film and hoping that they would not throw the ball to Cooper.
Campbell was eventually hired as the head coach at Northwestern. During his time with Cooper, Campbell did all he could to make sure his talents were noticed. When Cooper dominated a football camp run by Alabama, Campbell was there acting as his hype man. The rest is history.
This just goes to show that you never know who is watching.