Former University of Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper told Cowboy Maven that he'll be making his preseason debut on Friday night when Dallas hosts the Houston Texans.
"Yeah, I want to play, for sure," he said. "I got word that I was playing.”
But the normally low-key Cooper, who was the Crimson Tide's first winner of the Fred Biletnikoff Award as best receiver in college football (he was later joined by Jerry Jeudy in 2018 and DeVonta Smith last season) was then pretty outspoken about what he wants to accomplish this season.
“The way I look at it is 1,000 yards is like the ... it’s just OK,” Cooper said. “Anything after that is like the gravy, you know?
“I want the gravy.”
Since being acquired in a trade from the Raiders in 2018, Cooper has been just that for the Cowboys, including posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He was rewarded with a five-year, $100-million contract extension last year, which at the time was only topped by one wide receiver, Julio Jones, also a former Crimson Tide standout.
But it also made Cooper a bigger target.
He's been criticized by for his inconsistency and having won just one playoff game. Former teammate Jimmy Smith ripped him for "Lack of Effort." Rex Ryan once called him a turd (he later apologized, but still went after Cooper: "That guy disappears."
Some fans and local media started to buy into the talk when Cooper wasn't around much during the offseason.
Fans are anxious to see the Cowboys offense finally clicking between Cooper, running back Ezekiel Elliott, second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and quarterback Dak Prescott.
They might have to wait a little longer on Prescott, who is coming back from a serious right ankle injury, but is also dealing with a slight shoulder strain.
Cooper hadn't been around either. The four-time Pro Bowler underwent offseason surgery for loose bone spurs in his right ankle. While regaining flexibility, Cooper experienced inflammation in the bone that took time to heal.
“The thing about being injured, it really reminds you about how much you love the game,” Cooper said. “It has just showed me how much I really want to be out there because I miss it so much.
“I’ve never wanted to run a route so bad.”
The Extra Point is a regular feature on BamaCentral, and often includes video and other elements from our FanNation partners. Other recent segments include:
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