Sunday, October 2, 2022

Browns quarterback tails Cowboys over Amari Cooper trade

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Amari Cooper is looking like a true No. 1 for the Cleveland Browns, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett is happy the Dallas Cowboys decided to treat him.

The Browns landed Cooper in an offseason trade with the Cowboys for just a fifth-round draft pick in 2022. The move created some cap room for Dallas, but also removed a reliable pair of hands from the lineup — something the Cowboys did urgently need at the moment.

Cooper got off to a slow start in Week 1 in Cleveland, catching just three catches for 17 yards. However, in the past two weeks, he has rushed for 100 yards and collected two touchdown passes.

Cooper’s presence in Cleveland was a big boost for Brissett, who is filling in for Deshaun Watson in the first 11 games. After the Browns defeated the Steelers on Thursday, Brissett praised Cooper profusely and subtly fired at the Cowboys.

“I’m glad they did it,” Brissett said after the win. “I mean he was amazing, he’s one of the smartest, hardest working players I’ve ever worked with, comes here every week, works hard every day, puts in the work and he’s just a pleasure to play with . I know he just wants to keep doing that.”

Cooper had had a bad year by his standards, rushing for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. But Cooper previously had two 1,000-yard seasons in Dallas and is highly regarded in the league for his ability to run the route.

What seemed to be the sticking point for the Cowboys, besides his salary, was the fact that Cooper had missed some time last season. He sat out a few games on the COVID-19 list as an unvaccinated player, which didn’t sit well with owner Jerry Jones.

“If you come in there [financial] Period, I can tell you, your standards are rising,” Jones said in July. “THose decisions were made more about availability than capability. They were created in such a way that they were temporarily unavailable. … But more important than anything, these decisions that we’ve made, that I’ve made, in terms of top players not being here, had everything to do with their availability and my concern about their availability.

It’s early days, but so far Cooper has been very available and open to the Browns. Social media reminded the Cowboys they made a mistake after Cleveland’s last win.

“Tonight’s Amari Cooper really makes you wonder what the cowboys were thinking.” read a tweet.

Others criticized the Cowboys a little harsher for the move.

“The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper for a 5th round pick.” read another tweet. “I’ll say it again, the front office should be fined millions for incompetence.”

With Cooper gone, the Cowboys put CeeDee Lamb in the role of No. 1 wide receiver, but he’s still finding his step as more eyes are on him. Jones let him hear it after a flop in the opener against the Bucs, where Lamb made just two catches for 29 yards.

“People cover their best receiver. Happens. How are you? You have to play through being covered. You have to catch covered balls.” said Jones. “You can’t not make moves just because they doubled you.”

The Cowboys brought in former Steelers wide receiver James Washington through free agency, but a broken foot sidelined him until at least Week 5. Dallas also drafted Jalen Tolbert in the third round of this year’s draft, but he was a healthy scratch in the first two weeks of the season.

Fortunately, help could be on the way in the form of Michael Gallup, who is recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture he suffered late last season. The Cowboys were optimistic about his chances of playing the Giants on Monday.

Fortunately, help could be on the way in the form of Michael Gallup, who is recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture he suffered late last season. The Cowboys were optimistic about his chances of playing the Giants on Monday.



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