Playing for the Oakland Raiders isn’t for everyone, especially not Amari Cooper. You can clearly see that from his time with the Raiders to the Dallas Cowboys, who he now plays for. He forced himself to smile when he was first taken No. 4 overall by the Raiders in 2015. Then when he signed his contract, he couldn’t get himself to smile, giving the appearance that he was not all that happy to be a Raider.
He is so talented and skilled, he balled out his first two years with the Raiders anyway. Then from 2017 up to his trade to the Dallas this past season, he seemed to have lost his passion. The Raiders questioned that passion as Michael Lombardi spoke about it on The Ringer NFL Show back in October.
“I don’t think they think Amari Cooper has got great passion for the sport,” Lombardi said. “I don’t think they think he loves football. That’s what I’m hearing coming out of that building. I think they’re worried about his contract moving forward. It doesn’t sound like they are interested in giving him that kind of deal so they’re going to tear this thing down.”
Since Cooper arrived with the Cowboys, he looks to have found his passion. He had a genuine smile that reflected it in a postgame interview on FOX after leading his Cowboys to a win over the Philadelphia Eagles back in early December.
“I told Aaron Andrews that you know this is really a dream come true when I thought of playing in the NFL as a youth,” Cooper said. “This is the perfect example of that from everything from the city, the facilities, winning, watching that defense out there, watching this offense out here, it’s a dream come true.”
So playing in the NFL period isn’t a dream come true?
Is it that hard going from a big-time program at Alabama to Oakland and playing on a baseball field?
He grateful now to move on to Dallas and be on a playoff team with his 7 catches for 106 yards helping the Cowboys in their Wild Card win over the Seahawks. Facing the Rams on Saturday, he had another 6 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. And showed some fight in him he hasn’t been known for.
Marcus Peters beat up on Cooper when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cooper was with the Raiders all the time while talking crap to him. Now suddenly, when he’s a Cowboy and and Peters is a Ram, he’s a fighter that doesn’t want to accept losing in his playoff loss last Saturday.
That’s the dog or competitive spirit he should have had when he was with the Raiders. That quality should be one the Raiders look for in the 2019 NFL Draft to replace Coop.