Amari Cooper visited with the media on Tuesday for the first time in this training camp, and the four-time Pro Bowl receiver used the phrase, "to be completely candid'' - which is unnecessary, because he always is that.
"I'm close to 100 percent,'' the Dallas Cowboys star said. "I wouldn't say I'm quite 100 percent yet, to be completely candid. But I'm real close. I can do everything, maybe a little better, just because I've been rehabbing so hard."
Yes, Cooper is always candid. And as long as we're being honest, Amari is "always'' something else, too: He's always a bit dinged up, or worse, as is the case right now as he remains on PUP while rehabbing his way back from a nagging ankle issue resulting from an offseason surgery.
Of course, then comes Sunday. And anybody in the Cowboys family, from team executive to fan, knows what happens then: Since being traded in 2018 by the Raiders to Dallas, Cooper has 224 catches and 3,028 yards in 41 career games for the Cowboys. He's totaled 1,000 or more yards in five of his six seasons. And even last year, Cooper, managed to finish with 92 catches for 1,114 yards while his QB Dak Prescott, himself out in Week 5, was an observer.
"The way I look at it is like 1,000 yards is like the – it's just OK," Cooper said. "But anything after that is like the gravy, you know? I want the gravy."
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This year's "gravy'' will come with Cooper having slimmed down considerably. One issue is the surgery and rehab; "Because my foot was jammed up and not as flexible, I didn't really feel the other injury I had in my bone, the inflammation in my bone," he said. "But when they took the spurs out, my ankle got more flexible and I was able to really feel that injury, from what I understand."
The other issue is fitness, something coach Mike McCarthy has raved about in Cooper's case. And Amari is confirming that, saying he usually plays at 225 pounds, but, "I'm 215 now, I'm going to try to play at 210.''
He thinks he'll be so fast and quick, he joked, that, "You might not even be able to see me running."
Cooper, like Prescott and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (just off PUP) won't be a part of things in Canton on Thursday when the Cowboys oppose the Steelers in the Hall of Fame preseason game. But he promises his debut is coming, all in preparation for Week 1 at Tampa.
"I'm just trying to be the best Amari Cooper that I can be, trying to be better than I've ever been," he said. "I've been talking to myself a lot lately about how I want this year to be different than any other year that I've played football."