The Browns landed Cooper in an offseason trade with the Cowboys for just a 2022 fifth-round draft pick. The move freed up some cap space for Dallas but also removed a reliable set of hands from the lineup — something the Cowboys desperately need right now.
Cooper got off to a slow start in Cleveland in Week 1, notching just three catches for 17 yards. However, he’s gone for over 100 yards the last two weeks, collecting a pair of touchdown passes.
Cooper’s presence in Cleveland has been a major boost for Brissett, who is filling in for Deshaun Watson for the first 11 games. After the Browns topped the Steelers on Thursday, Brissett offered effusive praise for Cooper and took a subtle shot at the Cowboys.
“I’m glad they did it,” Brissett said after the win. “I mean he’s been unbelievable, he’s one of the smartest, hardest-working players I’ve ever worked with, comes out here every week, every day working hard, putting in the work and it’s just a pleasure to play with him. I know that he wants to just continue to keep this going.”
Jerry Jones Has Taken Shots at Cooper Since Departure
Cooper was coming off a down year by his standards, recording 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. But Cooper thrived previously in Dallas with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons and is highly respected around the league for his route-running ability.
Along with his salary, what seemed to be the sticking point for the Cowboys was the fact that Cooper missed some time last season. He sat out a pair of games on the COVID-19 list as an unvaccinated player, which didn’t sit well with owner Jerry Jones.
“When you get in that [financial] spot, I can tell you, your standards go up,” Jones said in July. “Those decisions were made more about availability than ability. They were made as how you arrived at not being available at times. … But more important than anything is these decisions that we made, I made, relative to top players not being here had everything to do with their availability and my concern about their availability.”
It’s early, but so far, Cooper has been very available and open for the Browns. Social media reminded the Cowboys they made a mistake following Cleveland’s lastest victory.
“Amari Cooper tonight really makes you wonder what the Cowboys were thinking,” a tweet read.
Others were a little harsher critiquing the Cowboys for making the move.
“The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper for a 5th round pick,” another tweet read. “I’ll say it again, the front office should be fined millions for incompetence.”
Cowboys Receiver Moves Haven’t Panned Out
With Cooper gone, the Cowboys shifted CeeDee Lamb to the No. 1 wide receiver role but he’s still finding his stride with more eyes on him. Jones let him hear it after a flop in the opener against the Bucs where Lamb caught just two catches for 29 yards.
“People are covering your best receiver. That happens. What do you do? You’ve got to play through being covered. You’ve got to catch balls covered,” Jones said. “You can’t, just because they doubled you up, not make some plays.”
The Cowboys brought in former Steelers receiver James Washington via free agency but a foot fracture has him sidelined until at least Week 5. Dallas also drafted Jalen Tolbert in the third round of this year’s draft but he has been a healthy scratch the first two weeks of the season.
Luckily, help could be on the way in the form of Michael Gallup, who has been recovering from a torn ACL he suffered at the end of last season. The Cowboys have been bullish about his chances to play on Monday against the Giants.