Did Browns WR Amari Cooper really compare Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to Kirk Cousins?

Some of the best things about NBA playoffs games outside of the action on the court are the sightings in the arena and the list of who’s who among celebrities plunking down big money for courtside seats.

And so it was no different at Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center on Sunday.

Certainly, the biggest stars were Mavericks guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who each scored 33 points to lead Dallas to a 116-107 victory and commanding 3-0 leading in the best of seven series.

But it was hard not to miss NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki, Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl champions Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, Shaquille O’Neal, Queen Latifa, 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett, Cowboys Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware and Baltimore Ravens running back Derrick Henry.

Seemingly inconspicuous among the list of courtside spectators was former Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, now a member of the Cleveland Browns.

It’s been two years since the Cowboys curiously traded Cooper to the Browns for a surprisingly-low fifth-round pick.

The Cowboys were supposedly unhappy about Cooper’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the idea of paying someone $20 million who wouldn’t do whatever it took to help the team win was a bridge too far.

It was also clear that CeeDee Lamb was ready to take over at the team’s No. 1 receiver.

But there was also a perception that something was amiss with Cooper’s relationship with quarterback Dak Prescott, which was fueled by a fake social media post that the two got into a heated argument following the Cowboys 23-16 wildcard loss to the San Francisco 49ers following the 2021 season.

Cooper was said to have called Prescott “the Black Kirk Cousins”, which reportedly sent the Cowboys quarterback into a frenzy.

The fake report took a life of it’s own on social media, giving credence to the anti-Prescott faction that he couldn’t win big games, similar to the criticisms of Cousins, the former Minnesota Vikings-now-Atlanta Falcons quarterback, who famously fails to play his best in prime time games despite being paid among the top players at his position.

The main problem is not none of it was true. It was fake post.

And Cooper, who maintains his offseason home in Dallas, could only laugh when asked about it for the first time on Sunday.

Cooper said he cracked up when he first heard about it and saw it.

He said there was no need to talk to Prescott about it because he felt the Cowboys quarterback knew it wasn’t true.

Nothing about the post matched Cooper’s laid back personality.

And more importantly, Cooper said he loved playing with Prescott as coming to Dallas helped revive his career after a down turn with the Las Vegas Raiders.

After two 1,000-yard seasons to open his career, Cooper caught just 48 passes for 680 yards in 2017.

After opening 2018 with just 22 catches for 280 through the first six games of 2018, he was traded to the Cowboys for a first-round pick.

Cooper caught 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns over the final nine games with the Cowboys.

He followed with back-to-back 1,000 yards seasons, including a career-high 92 catches for 1,114 yards in 2020.

But after a disappointing 2021 season in which he caught 68 passes for 865 yards and missed two games due to COVID-19, the Cowboys moved on from Cooper and his contract.

He has continued to thrive with the Browns with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons, capped by a career-high 1,250 yards on 72 catches from five different starting quarterbacks in 2023. He is the first receiver Browns’ receiver to ever have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in the franchise’s history.

While Lamb has blossomed into an All-Pro receiver, leading the NFL in catches and setting a franchise record for catches and yards in 2023, the Cowboys have never replaced Cooper’s production in the offense.

Michael Gallup was initially targeted to be Lamb’s sidekick when he was signed to a five-year, $57.5 million deal shortly after Cooper was traded in March of 2022. But he never returned to form after a torn ACL in the 2021 season and was released two years into the deal.

Brandin Cooks is currently the Cowboys No. 2 receiver. He caught 64 passes for 657 yards in 2023.

Cooper holds no hard feelings about how things ended with the Cowboys. He still keeps in touch with some of his former Cowboys teammates and he is adjusting well to life in Cleveland.

He was at the Mavericks game sitting next to Garrett, an Arlington native. And is looking forward to opening to the 2024 season against the Cowboys in Cleveland.

He plans to keep his home in Dallas until he retires and then possibly move back home to Florida.