Monday, August 8, 2022

Amari Cooper casts shadows on Cowboys and sends message to CeeDee Lamb

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Former Dallas Cowboys star receiver Amari Cooper made some harsh comments about his old team, particularly offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. During an interview with Dallas The Ticket 96.7 on July 22, 2022, Cooper was asked if he thought CeeDee Lamb was ready to step up as the Cowboys’ new WR1. Cooper noted that Lamb was “ready” while appearing to slightly poke Moore for his game call.

“Yes, CeeDee was ready,” Cooper explained. “CeeDee was ready again, it’s all about the opportunity. I think if trowels [Moore] decides to introduce him, he’s definitely ready to step up. CeeDee is a playmaker you know I just remember the Vikings game when we broke the huddle he was ready. He was ready then, he said, ‘Yo, I want this thing.’ And then we all saw what he could do when given the fade.

“Yes, he was ready. He’ll make the game when his shirt number is called and I can’t wait to see it. He’s a playmaker. He can go up and get it after the catch, no matter the situation.”

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The Cowboys appeared close to releasing Cooper this offseason before deciding to trade the wideout to the Browns to avoid the $60 million owed receiver over the next three years. Since the split, Cooper and his former team have traded barbs during the offseason. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Lamb an “upgrade” over Cooper as the team’s top receiver.

“However, owner Jerry Jones doesn’t think the team at the top of the group will take a step back,” wrote Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill on May 26. “Jones told Star-Telegram that CeeDee Lamb will be an upgrade over Cooper as the true No. 1 receiver on the Cowboys offense.

“Jones said he was trying to disadvantage Cooper, who the team traded in March in part because his production didn’t match his $20 million practice day. But Jones acknowledged that Cooper had his issues and that Lamb has the makings of a full No. 1 receiver in ‘production, in the huddle and off the field.’

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy believes Lamb is poised to become the team’s new top wideout, but acknowledged the young receiver “must” get the roster. McCarthy added that Lamb does “all the little things” it takes to become the team’s WR1.

“He must [embrace being the No. 1 receiver], of course, yes, I mean, he looks great,” McCarthy noted during a May 25 press conference. “But yeah, it’s a great opportunity for him personally and I think the way we’ve established offense, especially the passing game. The ability of these guys to play different positions, create matchups and make it harder for defense to double down and things like that.

“My point is he played a lot in the slot last year and now he’s playing the flanker position, so yeah. And we understand that with his third year promotion he’s going to get a lot more attention from defence, but he’s doing all the little things it takes to prepare him to be No. 1.”

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