McCarthy On Cowboys WRs: He Wants Both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb Back

Mike Fisher

There is nothing secret about the affection that Randall Cobb and fellow former Green Bay Packers pal Mike McCarthy have for one another. And now there is nothing secret about what the new coach thinks of Amari Cooper, either. 

The first relationship was forged during Cobb's Pro Bowl career as a Packers receiver and rekindled at The Star in January at the press conference during which the Dallas Cowboys' hiring of McCarthy was announced.

"It's great to see smiling Randall over there,'' McCarthy said from the podium. "He still looks like he's 20 years old when he arrived in Green Bay."

Added owner Jerry Jones later: "I didn't want you to get homesick around here," suggesting that the former Packers receiver might be a nice security blanket in Dallas for the former Packers coach.

Cobb signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Cowboys a year ago, and then became an important contributor as a slot receiver, finishing with 55 catches for 828 yards and three touchdowns. (And, a few too many drops for the critics' tastes.) Now comes decision time again for all involved parties. The hamstring issues that plagued him in Green Bay didn't pop up last season. And he's only 29.

“I love Coach McCarthy,'' Cobb said. "He was the first one who gave me a chance in the NFL. ... Once free agency gets here (March 18 is the start of the NFL's new year), we’ll see what happens. There’s no telling, and there’s been a lot of crazy things happening in this business. I enjoyed my time in Dallas, and there could be a chance I’m back. We’ll see what happens.”

So McCarthy has an affection for Cobb and Cobb feels the same. What do the Cowboys think? Interestingly, there are those inside the building who view Cobb - and not Amari Cooper - as the guy who had the most "gravitational pull'' of the guys in the receivers room.

That's not necessarily a diss on its other inhabitants and their leadership skills. But it's going to be considered when management, personnel and coaching staff (featuring new receivers coach Adam Henry) evaluates how Cobb might continue to fit with a unit topped Cooper and Michael Gallup.

McCarthy, Cobb said, "gave me a chance to end up having a great career in Green Bay. It was unfortunate what happened to him up there, but he’s got a second chance, and hopefully, he can end up like Andy Reid: Go to a new team and find a way to make something happen.''

In the case of Cooper, the Cowboys do not want him "going to a new team'' - and on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, McCarthy made that clear.

“The goal is to have both those guys,'' McCarthy said. "I was very impressed with (Cobb’s) video.''

And at the right price, maybe free agents Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are both back ... both to help the receivers room and to help their old/new coach.