With rampant speculation over Amari Cooper’s future in Dallas, the Cowboys Pro Bowl receiver looked to calm the waters on Monday.
He wants to remain in Dallas.
The pending free agent gushed about his experience with the team while speaking with reporters.
“If it ain't broke, don't fix it,” Cooper said. “Of course. Like I just said, I love it here. I want to be here. I just love this situation, my teammates. I just feel it’s the place for me.”
Dallas Morning News reporter Calvin Watkins paints a picture of Cooper as a player who has established roots with the Cowboys, thriving on the field since arriving in Dallas last season via trade from the Oakland Raiders.
According to Watkins, Cooper built an instant bond with many of his teammates, including cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, with whom he plays chess daily in the locker room.
Cooper’s career revived in Dallas
After his promising career stalled in Oakland, Cooper returned to Pro Bowl form after last year’s midseason trade, tallying 53 catches for 725 yards and six touchdowns in nine games with the Cowboys.
Through 12 games this season, he has 64 catches for 971 yards and seven touchdowns and looks bound for his fourth Pro Bowl nod. It amounts to a career revival after his final full season in Oakland saw him catch 48 passes for 680 yards.
“Yeah, I mean I’ve approached the situation like if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Cooper told reporters. “Obviously, I’m more productive here than I was in Oakland, so why would I want to change things?”
Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones told reporters in October that he intended to extend Cooper and that there’s “no reason to think that Amari Cooper won’t finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.”
Why no deal yet?
So if he’s happy off the field, performing on the field and the Cowboys want him, then what’s the holdup? Ezekiel Elliott already got paid before he hit free agency. Why not Cooper?
Well, the money of course. Watkins noted in his reporting that Cooper wants to stay in Dallas for the long haul “especially if the deal is correct.”
Would Cooper take a discount?
With quarterback Dak Prescott among several prominent Cowboys seeking long-term deals, how much flexibility will Jones have in signing Cooper? And does Cooper’s admission that he wants to remain in Dallas long-term amount to a willingness to accept a discount from what he’d expect to make on the open market?
Until Cooper makes a deal, we’re left to speculate and take the gushing praise from both sides with a grain of salt as he remains unsigned beyond this season.
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