Amari Cooper: ‘I actually loved’ being a Cowboy, sees trade to unfamiliar Browns as ‘just business’

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Frisco saw sunny skies on Monday, the first day of the Cowboys’ offseason program, with a high temperature of 72 degrees.

In Cleveland this week, Browns players reported for work at their facility with snow on the ground.

Yes, it’s a whole new ballgame now for Amari Cooper.

The receiver was traded away by the Cowboys on March 12, a move that he admitted to Cleveland media he saw coming, thanks in part to social media.

“It’s always something looming when you’re about to get traded or something like that,” he said Wednesday in his first press conference as a Brown, “so you kind of know. I wasn’t really surprised at all.”

That doesn’t mean he was eager to pack up and join his third team in eight pro seasons. While Cooper told reporters that he’s “excited about this new chapter” in Cleveland, he says he was quite happy wearing the Cowboys star.

“It’s not like I disliked being in Dallas. I actually loved being there. I wouldn’t say I just wanted to leave, but at the same time, it’s never personal. It’s just business, and that’s part of the business of being in this league. Things like that happen all the time: players get cut, players get traded,” Cooper said. “It all comes to an end at some point.”

Also coming to an end is Cooper’s on-the-field production with quarterback Dak Prescott. The two hooked up 231 times for 3,081 yards and 22 touchdowns over 44 games together. Just this week, Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz stated plainly for the record that the Dallas offense was “a better offense” with Cooper on it.

The Alabama product will now look to develop a similar rapport in Cleveland with newly-signed Browns passer Deshaun Watson, although Watson’s immediate future is somewhat up in the air. The NFL is still conducting an investigation into Watson’s 22 civil lawsuits from his time in Houston over alleged sexual misconduct with massage therapists; he still faces a possible suspension in the matter.

If Watson misses time, the 27-year-old Cooper will work with journeyman backup Jacoby Brissett in an offense heavy with younger and less experienced players.

“Sometimes you still kind of feel like you’re the youngest guy until you look up and you’re like, ‘Wait, I’m the oldest guy in the room,'” he said. “That’s when you start to realize, ‘Hey, it’s my responsibility to look after these guys, to make these guys better, to make the room better, to make the team better.’ And so I embrace that.”

And so far, he’s impressed his new head coach with the soft-spoken style that he displayed in the Dallas locker room.

“Coop’s been great. Very responsive to coaching,” Kevin Stefanski confirmed Wednesday, per USA Today. “Amari … he’s not the loudest guy in the room, but he’s very, very thoughtful, very, very intelligent. Has been productive, really, every year he’s been in this league, is a good teammate.”

The Cowboys will be landing a new teammate thanks to the deal they struck with Cleveland. It wasn’t exactly a blockbuster of a trade from the perspective of what the Cowboys got.

The two clubs swapped sixth-round draft picks as part of the trade; Dallas essentially gets the 155th overall selection this year in exchange for their four-time Pro Bowler.

Cooper gets a whole team that’s new to him, in more ways than one. Despite the Cleveland franchise’s storied place in the annals of NFL history, the wideout admitted with a chuckle that most of what he knows of the Browns comes from the 2014 Kevin Costner movie “Draft Day.”

Consider it more for the intellectual Cooper to learn as he gets acclimated to his new settings: Browns history, a new quarterback, Cleveland weather.

And for the Cowboys, expect a significant bit of added pressure to hit a monster home run with that fifth-round draft pick.

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