The moment the Oakland Raiders traded Khalil Mack, everyone (except the Raiders) knew it was a mistake. The Amari Cooper trade was different.
Cooper had a good start to his career, then a totally lost 2017 and more of the same to start 2018. When the Dallas Cowboys traded a first-round pick for Cooper, it seemed they were overpaying. Yeah, about that …
Cooper has played six games with the Cowboys. He has 40 catches, 640 yards and six touchdowns. He’s a driving force in the Cowboys going from 3-5 to practically having the NFC East championship wrapped up with three games to go.
The trade looks a lot worse for the Raiders now than it did at the deadline. And Raiders owner Mark Davis didn’t have a great explanation for it.
Raiders don’t think Amari Cooper worked in their system
Cooper turned from a player who had 960 yards in 20 Raiders games over the last two seasons to the hottest receiver in the NFL with Dallas. He took over last week’s crucial game against the Eagles, going for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. It’s not like Cooper didn’t have the talent, but it’s still a pretty shocking difference.
Davis told Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News he wasn’t surprised, “because he was a great, great player. We always had the fastest guy on the field no matter what. I think [Al Davis, Mark’s dad] would have loved Amari, but it just didn’t work out in our system.”
That makes no sense. If what Cooper has shown over his time in Dallas is his true talent level, then he should fit in any system. If you can’t find a way to use a player like Cooper, then your system needs work.
It has been easy to laugh at the Raiders this year. Sometimes, they make it easy.
Cooper has been a great addition for Cowboys
It’s only six games into Cooper’s Cowboys career, and we’ve seen hot streaks from him before. It’s possible in a year we’ll look at the trade in a different light (though, if the Cowboys win the NFC East with Cooper as it looks like they will, it’s hard to argue that result).
“In the future,” Davis said according to the Morning News, “we might be saying, ‘Damn!’ “
They might not need to wait for the future to say that. The Raiders need good, young talent to build around. Mack would have been the team’s best player for the next five years, maybe more. Cooper could have been one of those players too, it seems.
Maybe they just need a new system.
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