Amari Cooper

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Amari Cooper
refer to caption
Cooper with the Oakland Raiders in 2017
No. 19 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1994-06-17) June 17, 1994 (age 25)
Miami, Florida
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Miami Northwestern
(Miami, Florida)
College:Alabama
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Receptions:357
Receiving yards:5,097
Receiving average:14.2
Receiving touchdowns:33
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Amari Cooper (born June 17, 1994) is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver and a unanimous All-American in 2014. Widely considered the top wide receiver prospect of the 2015 NFL Draft, he was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.

After successful rookie and sophomore seasons that included back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns and two Pro Bowl appearances, Cooper struggled in his third season with the Raiders, totaling just 680 yards. Midway through the 2018 season, he was traded to the Cowboys and his play began to flourish again, including a 217-yard performance, and as a result, was voted to the third Pro Bowl of his career.

Early years[edit]

Cooper attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Miami, Florida.[1] As a junior, he missed much of the season with an injury, but still managed to be one of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's primary targets and had 16 catches for 175 yards with four scores. Cooper was dominant on the 7-on-7 circuit at various college campuses before his senior season. He had a show-out performance at Alabama's summer camp,[2] and that quickly led to an offer from Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. In his final year, he hauled in 33 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns. He was a first-team FHSAA 8A All-State selection, as well as the number-four player on The Orlando Sentinel’s Florida Top 100.[3] He was also invited to play at the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game, where he had a 75-yard touchdown grab and a 93-yard punt return for a score. In addition to being a standout in football, Cooper also starred in basketball and track at Miami Northwestern.[4]

Cooper was a consensus four-star prospect. He was listed as the number 45 in the Rivals100, and was considered the number-six wide receiver and number-eight player in Florida by Rivals.com.[5] ESPNU listed him as the nation's number-seven wideout and number-46 overall prospect in the ESPNU 150 while ranking 25th in the ESPNU Southeast Top 100 and number 12 in Florida.[6] He was ranked as the number-six wide receiver and the number-10 player in the state of Florida by 247Sports.com, while ranking him 55th in the Top247.[7] Also, Scout.com rated him as the number-12 pass catcher in the nation and 86th overall prospect.[8] He chose Alabama over Florida State, Miami, and Ohio State, among others. Cooper announced his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama on September 22, 2011.[9]

College career[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

As a freshman at Alabama, Cooper played in all 14 games, including starts in the final nine games. He led the team with 59 receptions for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.[10][11] The 11 touchdowns broke Alabama's 62-year-old record by Al Lary.[12] His receptions and receiving yards broke Julio Jones's Alabama freshman records. In the SEC Championship, he had eight receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown in the 32–28 victory over Georgia.[13] In Alabama's 2013 BCS National Championship Game 42–14 victory over Notre Dame, Cooper led all Alabama receivers with 105 yards and two touchdowns.[14][15] Cooper earned consensus Freshman All-American honors and was selected to the SEC All-Freshman team by the league coaches.[16]

Sophomore season[edit]

As a sophomore in 2013, Cooper played in 12 games with seven starts, missing two games due to injury. He had 45 receptions for a team-high 736 yards and four touchdowns.[17] He had his best game of the season against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, recording six receptions for 178 yards, including a school record 99-yard touchdown reception from quarterback AJ McCarron.[18] In the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma, he had nine receptions for 121 yards in the 45–31 loss.[19]

Junior season[edit]

As a junior in 2014, Cooper set numerous single-season and career records for Alabama.[20] Against Tennessee, he broke Alabama's single game receiving yards record, finishing with 224.[21] He later matched the record against Auburn.[22] For the season, Cooper had 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, both school records. In addition, his 124 receptions were an SEC record.[23] He became Alabama's all-time leader in receptions (228), receiving yards (3,463), and receiving touchdowns (31).[24][25][26] Cooper was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing third behind Marcus Mariota and Melvin Gordon.[27] He won the Biletnikoff Award that season and was also named a unanimous All-American.[28][29]

After his junior season, Cooper entered the 2015 NFL Draft.[30][31]

College career statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Receiving
Rec Rec–Yards Avg TD Long 100+ Avg/G
2012 Alabama 14 59 1,000 16.9 11 54 5 71.4
2013 Alabama 12 45 736 16.4 4 99 2 61.3
2014 Alabama 14 124 1,727 13.9 16 80 7 123.4
Total 40 228 3,463 15.2 31 99 14 86.6

Professional career[edit]

Cooper was considered one of the best wide receivers in the 2015 draft class, together with Kevin White. In most mock drafts, he was projected to be a top-10 pick, with some having him as high as the fourth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.[32][33]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 0 78 in
(1.85 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
31 12 in
(0.80 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.42 s 1.61 s 2.63 s 3.98 s 6.71 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
All values from NFL Combine[34][35]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

2015 season: Rookie year[edit]

The Oakland Raiders selected Cooper in the first round with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.[36][37] Cooper was initially assigned the jersey number 19, but following the release of fellow receiver James Jones, he switched to number 89. Cooper made his NFL debut for the Oakland Raiders on September 13, 2015. He hauled in five receptions for 47 yards in a 33–13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.[38] In his second game against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 109 yards receiving including his first touchdown on a 68-yard pass from Derek Carr.[39] In week 3, he had a franchise rookie record eight receptions for 134 yards in a 27-20 win against the Cleveland Browns, becoming the first Raiders receiver with consecutive 100+ yard receiving games since Randy Moss in 2005.[40][41] Through three games, his 290 receiving yards were third in NFL history. On November 8, 2015, Cooper passed Tim Brown's record for rookie receptions (43) in a 35-38 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.[42]

On December 20, 2015, Cooper became the first Oakland Raider rookie in franchise history to reach the 1,000-yard mark and the only receiver in the club to reach that same mark since Randy Moss, in 2005.[43] His five 100+ yard receiving games and 72 receptions are also franchise rookie records.[44] On December 22, 2015, Cooper was selected as an alternate for the Pro Bowl, alongside teammates Derek Carr and Latavius Murray;[45] he replaced Brandon Marshall and played.[46]

2016 season[edit]

Cooper put together a solid second season in the NFL. In the season opener against the New Orleans Saints, he had six receptions for 137 yards in a 35–34 victory.[47] In week 5, against the San Diego Chargers, he had six receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown in a 34–31 victory.[48] In week 8, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he had his best game of the season with 12 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown in a 30–24 overtime victory.[49] Overall, he had 83 receptions for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns.[50] Cooper was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl on December 20, 2016.[51] He was also ranked 53rd by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[52]

2017 season[edit]

Montae Nicholson of the Washington Redskins makes an interception over Cooper.
Cooper in 2017

In the season opener against the Tennessee Titans, Cooper had only five receptions for 62 yards on 13 targets, though one was a touchdown.[53] After having 33 yards in week 2, Cooper had three consecutive games with less than 10 receiving yards.[54] However, on Thursday Night Football, in a 31–30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in week 7, Cooper caught 11 passes for a then career-high 210 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His yardage was the most by any NFL player at that point in the 2017 season, the second-most in franchise history, and the first 200+ yard game in franchise history since 1965.[55][56] With his stellar performance in Week 7, Cooper earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week.[57] After a string of games without stellar yardage totals, Cooper had three receptions for 66 receiving yards and a 63-yard touchdown during a week-16 loss (19-10) to the Philadelphia Eagles. In the season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, Cooper caught three receptions for 115 yards and an 87-yard touchdown in the 30–10 loss.[58] He was later revealed to have struggled throughout the latter half of the season with an ankle injury that hampered his play.[59] Cooper finished the 2017 season recording career-lows with 48 receptions for 680 yards but did have a career-high seven receiving touchdowns.[60]

2018 season[edit]

On April 22, 2018, the Raiders exercised the fifth-year option on Cooper's contract.[61] In week 4 against the Cleveland Browns, Cooper caught eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in a 45–42 overtime win.[62] During week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks in London, Cooper suffered a concussion and was knocked unconscious. The Raiders went on to lose 27-3.[63]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

2018 season[edit]

On October 22, 2018, Cooper was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a first-round pick (27th overall, Johnathan Abram) in the 2019 NFL Draft.[64]

In his first game with the Cowboys on November 5, Cooper led the team with five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys lost to the Tennessee Titans by a score of 28-14.[65] On Thanksgiving Day, Cooper had eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter as the Cowboys defeated the Washington Redskins by a score of 31-23. He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[66] During week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cooper had 10 catches for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns. His final touchdown, in overtime, came off a deflection from Rasul Douglas as the Cowboys won 29-23. His 217 receiving yards were the most by one player for a single game in the 2018 season.[67] For his performance, Cooper earned his second NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.[68]

The Cowboys finished atop the NFC East with a 10-6 record and were the number-four seed for the NFC playoffs.[69] In the Wild Card Round victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Cooper had seven receptions for 106 yards.[70] In the Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, he had six receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown.[71] On January 21, 2019, Cooper was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas.[72] In 15 games on the Raiders and Cowboys rosters during the 2018 season, Cooper accumulated 75 receptions, 1,005 yards, and seven touchdown receptions.

2019 season[edit]

On July 1, 2019, Cooper stated, "I think the change of scenery was really necessary, I really, honestly, don’t think if I would’ve stayed with the Raiders last season that I would’ve been able to flourish and reach some heights that I was able to reach as a Cowboy. So, it was definitely necessary."[73]

During the season opener against the New York Giants, Cooper caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys won by a score of 35–17.[74] Two weeks later against the Miami Dolphins, he caught six passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys won 31–6.[75] During week 5, Cooper caught 11 passes for a career-high 226 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 34–24.[76] During Week 6 on the road against the New York Jets, Cooper caught one pass for three yards before leaving the game with a thigh injury.[77] The Cowboys went on to lose 22–24. In the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles, he caught five passes for 106 yards in the Cowboys' 37–10 home victory.[78] After a week-8 bye, the Cowboys went on the road to face the New York Giants. Cooper caught four passes for 80 yards and a 45-yard fourth-quarter touchdown that sealed a 37–18 victory over their division rival.[79] During week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings, he caught 11 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys lost by a score of 28–24. [80] Three weeks later against the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football, Cooper caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in the 31–24 road loss. During the game, he reached 1,000 receiving yards on the season.[81]

Cooper finished the 2019 season with 79 receptions for a career-high 1,189 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games and starts.[82]

2020 season[edit]

On March 17, 2020, Cooper signed a five-year contract extension with the Cowboys worth $100 million, which featured $60 million guaranteed, $40 million at signing, and a $20 million injury designation that becomes fully guaranteed in 2022.[83]

NFL statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2015 OAK 16 15 72 1,070 14.9 68T 6 3 -3 -1.0 2 0 1 1
2016 OAK 16 14 83 1,153 13.9 64T 5 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
2017 OAK 14 12 48 680 14.2 87T 7 1 4 4.0 4 0 1 0
2018 OAK 6 6 22 280 12.7 36 1 1 9 9.0 9 0 0 0
DAL 9 9 53 725 13.7 90T 6 1 11 11.0 11 0 2 2
2019 DAL 16 16 79 1,189 15.1 53T 8 1 6 6.0 6 0 0 0
Career 76 71 357 5,097 14.2 90T 33 8 27 3.4 11 0 6 3

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2016 OAK 1 1 2 10 5.0 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 DAL 2 2 13 171 13.2 34 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Career 3 3 15 181 12.1 34 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 1 0

Records and achievements[edit]

Raiders franchise records[edit]

  • First rookie to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark
  • Most receiving yards in a season by a rookie: 1,070

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]