Amari Cooper doesn’t seem to look like a man who’s upset about leaving the Oakland Raiders. If anything it must feel like he won the lottery.
Suddenly he’s playing for a team in the Dallas Cowboys who are in control of their division and also one of the most lucrative franchises in the NFL. He’s also the unquestioned feature target in their passing game, something that was never clear during his brief time in the Jon Gruden offense. Cooper just had the best game of his career, posting 180 yards and two touchdowns in a huge win over the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving.
This begs the question. Why in the world couldn’t Raiders head coach Jon Gruden get him going? Derek Carr had a stronger connection with Cooper and is a superior talent to Dak Prescott. Gruden is also supposed to be a sharp offensive mind given the success he had during his first head coaching stint 10 years ago.
Cooper explained to Kimberley Martin of Yahoo Sports that it came down to not understanding his skill set.
"“I looked at it totally different than most people looked at it. [The Raiders] basically said, ‘We could get a guy, who’s going to contribute better than he will, in the first round. And I didn’t know how to feel about that. I just always felt like I wasn’t really being used how I felt like I would have used me if I was the coach. So I looked at it from that perspective, not from the perspective that, ‘Oh, they don’t think I’m good enough’ or I’m not good enough.I never had those questions in my mind. At all.”"
Oakland Raiders continue to lack evidence that Gruden is their guy
It’s rather amazing that a team who struggles to pass the ball with consistency like Dallas has already unlocked what was ailing Cooper so fast. Meanwhile Gruden, a guy who supposedly runs a pass-first style of offense needed just a couple of months to decide the receiver was a lost cause and traded him. It’s merely more confirmation that whatever magic the head coach may have had is long gone after so many years away from the sidelines.
There is still time for him to rescue the matter. He has a bounty of draft picks going into 2019 and can revamp the receiving corp in one shot if he plays his cards right. This is presuming if Carr survives long enough to see that project finished. Something that isn’t guaranteed with the beatings he’s been taking of late. Raider fans have no choice but to trust him at this point. All the while they have to watch Cooper continue to have success in another uniform.