Since their 23-17 opening round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers the Dallas Cowboys have undergone a myriad of changes in personnel. Gone is stalwart wideout Amari Cooper, the team’s top receiving target since he arrived via trade in 2018. The team also lost two starting offensive lineman in Connor Williams and La’el Collins, plus starting edge rusher Randy Gregory.
The one loss that could really change the trajectory of the Cowboys heading into 2022 is Cooper, who’s skill set and route-running open up opportunities for others to make plays.
While Cooper’s trade wasn’t all that surprising, it still shocked many that Jones and the Cowboys wanted to move on from such a vital piece of their offense.
FS1 personality Shannon Sharpe believes salary cap implications were just part of the reason the team moved the former Alabama star. Speaking Tuesday on “Undisputed,”Sharpe says it’s also because of Cooper’s defiance of Jones in regards to the COVID vaccination shot.
“For the first time, there was a player on Jerry Jones’ roster that openly and definitely said, I’m not doing what the hell you tell me to do.” Do you remember Jerry Jones with the Colin Kaepernick protests?”
“Jerry Jones said, ‘Dallas Cowboys players will stand at attention. They will have their hands over their hearts.’ Amari Cooper said, ‘I ain’t getting no damn shot.’ And Jerry never forgave him for it.”
God forbid someone goes against the omnipotent Jerry Jones.
Cooper’s refusal to get vaccinated didn’t sit well with Jones and the Cowboys, and that was a major factor in him being traded.
Cooper Had COVID In November: Went To Mavericks Game Unmasked In January
Cooper tested positive for COVID-19 in November, which forced him to miss two games. The team lost both games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. At the time of his diagnosis, the Cowboys offense was humming, but it never seemed to regain its full swagger once he returned.
In January, Cooper and wideout CeeDee Lamb sat front row at a Dallas Mavericks game without masks. That certainly didn’t sit well with Jones and the other Cowboys brass. The NFL fined Cooper $14,650 for his infraction.
Cooper was adamant about the team staying healthy throughout the playoffs, and he had hopes of a deep playoff run, which never came to fruition.
Here’s what Coop said prior to the playoffs. Turns out he was blowing smoke, which also showed a complete lack of leadership.
“You don’t want to get sick,” Cooper said. “This is the tournament. We train so hard in the offseason, OTAs, camp, to get to this point. We accomplished that goal thus far. We’re going to do everything we can do to not get sick. If that means isolation, then that’s what that means. Hopefully, we can isolate enough to not catch it.”
Cooper Traded To Browns For Late Round Picks
The Cowboys traded Cooper to Deshaun Watson’s Cleveland Browns for two late-round picks. The move thrust 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb into the role of No. 1 receiver, and while no one will ever question Lamb’s abilities, he’s had a lot of drops early in his career. Cooper’s sure hands will be missed, but it seems as if his relationship with Dallas had run its course.
On the other hand, Lamb recently told reporters that he’s ready to pick up the slack and ascend to No. 1 receiver.
“Oh, I’ve been ready. Been ready,” said the former Alabama wide receiver. “That’s just me and my competitiveness. That’s my nature. … I’m always ready for my name to be called.”
Jones believes he’s an upgrade over Coop.
Jerry Jones says CeeDee Lamb is an upgrade over Amari Cooper as a No. 1 receiver. https://t.co/cV7GmwVk0f
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 27, 2022
We shall see!