“I really know that, if given the opportunity, I can lead the league in all categories,” Cooper conveyed to reporters on Wednesday, January 5, via The Athletic. “That’s just how I feel about my skill set that I’ve been blessed with. Obviously that’s a goal of mine. But it’s just like basketball. If you want to make a hundred 3s, you got to shoot over a hundred. It’s the same with me.
“If I want to catch a hundred balls, I’ve got to have those targets, and that’s not really in my control. You know what I mean? I just play my part.”
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Amari Calls His Shot
Entering Week 18, Cooper ranks third on the Cowboys in receiving with 786 yards and eight touchdowns on 63 catches. He will finish the regular season having produced his lowest output since 2017 when the 27-year-old compiled 680 yards across 14 games for the Raiders.
The Cowboys, despite topping the league in points per game and total yards per game, have struggled on third downs (11th) and in the red zone (16th) — two areas that Cooper believes “could be a lot better.”
“I still feel like I can help the team in a huge way in those areas,” he said, via USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “I think it will come. We have some plays in this week that I’m a big part of and hopefully I can take advantage of the opportunity.”
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Cooper’s Previous Comments
In a December 23 radio interview, Cooper first revealed his frustration with Dallas’ fledgling offense, which at that point had been neutralized by nearly every opponent it faced. The four-time Pro Bowl pass-catcher wasn’t getting fed, so his mouth was no longer closed.
“I got to be honest, it actually does [bother me],” Cooper said on 105.3 The Fan. “Because, yeah, we’re winning, but the defense is playing a huge part in that. We’re not really as explosive as we should be. We’re not converting a lot of their turnovers into touchdowns. A lot of them are field goals. And I feel like I could be a huge part of that, so that’s what frustrates me.”
Cooper was placated the following week amid the Cowboys’ 56-14 trouncing of Washington, posting a game-high 85 yards and one TD on seven grabs. But he again took a backseat in the club’s Week 17 loss to Arizona, eking out a meager 3-18-1 line.
“You want to get the ball to him,” quarterback Dak Prescott admitted during a December 23 press conference, via the official Cowboys website. “You’d much rather have a guy saying that and a guy hungry for the ball than him shying away from it in critical situations or when you need to. Yeah, it’s a balance.”