Headlines seem to indicate that the Dallas Cowboys are considering parting ways with receiver Amari Cooper.
Given Cooper’s experience and chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, that’s somewhat surprising.
The biggest motivation to do so may be financial, but the fact is that Cooper is coming off his least productive year as a Cowboy in 2021.
Why is this the case?
There seems to be a main reason for this, and it could be called an embarrassment of wealth.
That means the Cowboys had so much offensive weaponry in 2021 that Cooper’s dominance dwindled.
Consider the Cowboys’ offensive stars, and it’s easy to see what happened.
A healthy Prescott passed the ball to the next players.
1. CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb had more targets thrown his way.
He became a young talent for the Cowboys.
His numbers weren’t dramatically higher, but he was still good in his second season in the NFL and could be ready to make the jump to WR1.
—Sohe Coop (@SoheCoop) March 8, 2022
2. Tony Pollard
Tony Pollard is proving to be a versatile fullback.
He is capable of being an excellent runner and receiver.
Pollard had 11 more receptions and nearly 150 more receiving yards than in 2020.
He is a huge asset to the Cowboys and Prescott.
“Tony is a multi-position player, so we have to keep spreading him, and I think we have a terrific attack with him and Zeke.”
HC Mike McCarthy talks about using Tony Pollard.
Updates | @SleepNumber
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 2, 2022
3. Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz had four more touchdowns in 2021.
The tight end the Cowboys chose to apply the franchise tag to for 2022 also received nearly 200 extra yards.
– NFL (@NFL) March 8, 2022
The Cowboys have been looking for a solid, consistent tight game since the departure of Jason Whitten, and they may have finally found it with Schultz.
An example from last year of how Dalton Schultz became one of Dak Prescott’s most trusted receivers.
Schultz’s route is designed to go left, but he sees the game crumble and Dak rush to his right, so he immediately backtracks to his right. pic.twitter.com/8Z3GCno4vG
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 8, 2022
Outside Factors: Playcalling and Injuries
Kellen Moore’s play call also encouraged Prescott to employ a variety of receivers and offensive players in the game when it had previously been more about the Prescott and Cooper connection.
Cooper also dealt with injuries but continued to play through them.
He had cracked ribs at the start of the season and also had a hamstring injury.
It’s not over yet
Despite all that, it still seems odd that the Cowboys want to part ways with Cooper.
2022 is the year for the team to succeed or fail.
If there is another disappointing season, this team will be dismantled starting with the coaching staff and continuing with the roster.
The Cowboys got themselves into trouble by overpaying players who then underperformed.
Cooper is performing and he has stated that he wants to stay in Dallas.
He didn’t mince his words when he said:
“I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I think about it almost every day. Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy, you can’t beat it. I want to be a Dallas cowboy for life.
Amari Cooper: “I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I think about it almost every day. … Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy, you can’t beat it. I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for life.
– D4KSB (@D4KSB) March 4, 2022
Lamb has publicly stated that he wants Cooper to stay.
He calls Cooper a mentor who helped raise his game.
Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb makes stern move for team to keep Amari Cooper
USA TODAY pic.twitter.com/68o2WGiu2y
— Law Nation Sports (@LawsNation) March 1, 2022
The 2022 offseason has been unpredictable, so no one really knows what the Cowboys are thinking or planning to do, but we’ll find out soon enough.