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Cowboys BREAKING: Amari Cooper 'Likely' Cut by Dallas?

The 27-year-old has maintained high expectations since being traded to Dallas in 2018

Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper is likely to be released by the start of the NFL’s new league year on March 16, according to reports. Cooper is due $20 million in guaranteed money by the fifth day of the new league year on March 20.

The Cowboys acquired the four-time Pro Bowler in October 2018 in a trade with the then-Oakland Raiders for a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Cooper immediately became a focal point of Dallas’ offense, catching 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns in his first nine games as a Cowboy. 

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In his first two full years after that, Cooper emerged as the Cowboys' clear No. 1 option at receiver. He posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020, which included 171 total catches and 13 touchdowns. 

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The 27-year-old had inked five-year contract extension with the Cowboys worth $100 million in March of 2020 and was certainly playing up to his elite-level expectations. 

But now, after being an inconsistent weapon for Dallas this past season, his future with the team has remained cloudy after the Cowboys first-round playoff exit against the 49ers on Jan. 16. 

"It’s too early for me to address that yet," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "We’re continuing to have conversations. We've been so fortunate to have those three great receivers on our roster. And obviously, that’s hard to keep doing under a salary cap."

Cooper's "likely'' release is not a shocker, but Dallas has other options with him, including a re-negotiation of his contract. Our columnist Richie Whitt theorizes that Friday's "new story'' (which in a sense isn't "new'' at all could've been leaked to ESPN as a "veiled threat'' to Cooper to accept a reduced deal.

With Cooper likely out the door, the Cowboys could rely on receivers CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Malik Turner and Michael Gallup, but with problems there: Gallup is heading into rehab suffering a torn ACL late in the season, and is a free agent. And Wilson are also free.

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