Amari Cooper

Latest On Cowboys’ Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper is in no rush to get a deal done. On Friday, the Cowboys wide receiver told reporters that he’d prefer to wait until after the season to hammer out an extension (Twitter link via Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star Telegram). 

[RELATED: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones On Dak Prescott]

This roughly echoes what we’ve been hearing from Cooper throughout the year. The Dallas star wants a long-term deal that will put him at the top of the market, but he’s also looking to maximize his leverage. His biggest possible payday would come after a huge 2019 season and he’s willing to gamble.

Cooper was inconsistent during his stay in Oakland, but he’s been rock solid in Dallas. In nine games with the Cowboys last year, Cooper exploded for 53 catches, 725 receiving yards, and six scores. Extrapolated for a 16 game season (while rounding up a bit), that’s a 96/1296/10 stat line over the course of a full 16-game season, which would represent all new career highs for Cooper. This year, he’s got 38 catches for 621 yards and five scores through seven games, putting him on pace for career highs in yards and TDs (and flirting with his previous watermark of 83 receptions).

Publicly, the Cowboys have been saying that talks are trending in the right direction for Cooper and Dak Prescott, but in reality, they have some serious gaps to bridge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Jones, Manning

There is not going to be a quarterback controversy in the Giants organization, according to head coach Pat Shurmur. Rookie starting quarterback Daniel Jones‘ hot start to the season had many fans and pundits retracting their criticism of New York’s first-round selection. The former Duke quarterback, however, has shown some substantial regression since. With longtime starter and two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning remaining on the bench, some speculation began that the team might shift to the veteran. When asked if he would consider making a change, though, Shurmur remained committed to the rookie:

“No, I think Daniel is going to learn from everything that’s going on,” Shurmur said (via PFT).

Here’s more from one of the Giants’ biggest NFC East rivals:

  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett‘s job status has been a large point of speculation throughout the season. Garrett, currently in the final year of his contract, is the longest tenured head coach in the NFC East, but he has found himself on the hot seat many times since he was hired in 2010. Dallas ownership’s close relationship with Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and Urban Meyer’s recent comments on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd have created even more speculation. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones tried to quell those rumors this week. Jones, the son of team owner and general manager Jerry Jones, tells Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that the organization believes “Jason’s doing a great job” and has no intention of making a change.
  • Garrett isn’t the only prominent member of Cowboys in the last year of his contract. Extension negotiations with franchise quarterback Dak Prescott have stalled, making it increasingly likely that the team will need to use the franchise tag on him, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. While the tag would ensure their ability to retain their signal-caller, La Canfora mentions some domino effects that would impact two other Dallas cornerstones. Star corner Byron Jones and wide receiver Amari Cooper are both in their final years under contract as well. The team, via La Canfora, has gained little progress in talks with either player. Furthermore, the team had originally planned to franchise Jones, but unless they can settle their negotiations with Prescott, he will hit the unrestricted free agent market alongside Cooper and be able to negotiate with all 32 teams.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Redskins are still rejecting calls of trade interest on offensive lineman Trent Williams.

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles

The Cowboys may be without their top wide receiver when they face the Eagles in a key NFC East battle on Sunday night. Amari Cooper left Sunday’s loss to the Jets after only three snaps due to a quadriceps injury, and while the issue isn’t getting any worse, it could derail his availability for Week 7, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite missing nearly all of Week 6, Cooper still ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards (515) and is tied for second with five receiving touchdowns. Cooper hasn’t practiced this week, another indication that he’ll be either out or limited for Dallas’ showdown with Philadelphia.

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has undergone an astounding 17 surgeries on his broken right leg, as Thom Loverro of the Washington Times writes. Last December, a report indicated Smith had gone under the knife six times, so either that report was inaccurate, or Smith has undergone an additional 11 surgeries this calendar year. Ben Standing of The Athletic caught Smith throwing with team officials at Fedex Field on Monday, an encouraging sign. Smith, who was confined to a wheel chair for four months post-surgeries, indicated as recently as June that he wants to play in the NFL again.
  • Under interim head coach Bill Callahan, the Redskins are making a number of changes, and the club is feeling more upbeat as a result, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. One such change was making quarterback Colt McCoy a healthy scratch against the Dolphins on Sunday, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. McCoy, who started Washington’s Week 5 loss to the Patriots, is possibly viewed as former head coach Jay Gruden‘s “guy,” per Breer, which may have played a role in his inactive status. McCoy joined the Redskins in 2014, the same year as Gruden.
  • Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby returned as a limited practice participant on Wednesday, tweets Mike Kaye of NJ.com. Darby has missed Philadelphia’s past three games after suffering a hamstring injury against the Lions in Week 3. The Eagles can use all the help they can get at cornerback — they’ve given up the most touchdowns to wide receivers of any team in the NFL (11), and only the Buccaneers have allowed more yardage to opposing wideouts.

Injury Updates: Sanders, Cooper, Roby, Howard

The latest injury updates on key players around the league:

  • Emmanuel Sanders left the Broncos’ win over the Titans with a knee injury and was ruled out, but fortunately it isn’t anything longterm. The injury isn’t “at all serious,” James Palmer of NFL Network was told (Twitter link). In a follow-up tweet, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that there’s optimism Sanders will play in just a few days on Thursday Night Football against the Chiefs. Sanders is in the midst of his comeback season from a torn Achilles, so it’s great news that he isn’t seriously hurt.
  • The Cowboys have lost three straight games, including an embarrassing one to the Jets on Sunday, and the news could get even worse soon. Star receiver Amari Cooper left the game and was soon ruled out with a quad injury. Cooper was in “pretty significant pain” after the game, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (Twitter link). Obviously that’s not an official diagnosis, but it does sound like Cooper could miss some time. That’s the last thing this suddenly struggling Cowboys team needs.
  • The Texans picked up a big win over the Chiefs Sunday, but they couldn’t escape Kansas City unscathed. Starting cornerback Bradley Roby was knocked out of the game with a hamstring injury and will have an MRI tomorrow, according to Palmer (on Twitter). As Palmer points out fellow Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph is already sidelined with a hamstring issue, so this would be a huge blow to their secondary. Roby has been a bright spot on Houston’s defense this year, so this will definitely be one to monitor.
  • Roby wasn’t the only key member of the Texans to get hurt. Rookie first-round pick Tytus Howard had to be carted off with a knee injury, but fortunately it seems like he may have dodged a bullet. It didn’t look good for Houston’s starting right tackle, but Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets the initial diagnosis is that Howard did not tear his ACL. In a separate tweet, Wilson writes that head coach Bill O’Brien said that Howard’s injury “may have looked worse than it really was.” However, O’Brien did add “hopefully we can get him back at some point,” so it sounds like he’s going to miss some significant time. That’s a big blow to Deshaun Watson‘s protection, which has been surprisingly competent this season.

NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cooper, Jeffery

Could the dawn of the Dwayne Haskins era be upon us? Redskins starting QB Case Keenum is dealing with a foot injury and did not practice today, which could force Jay Gruden to turn to one of his backup signal-callers when his team takes on the Giants this weekend. John Keim of ESPN.com notes that Colt McCoy, who hasn’t taken part in a full practice since August 11, participated in the team’s walk-through today, but Gruden wants to see him plant and push off before he thrusts him back into action. 

Haskins, the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 draft, is Washington’s QB of the future, and Gruden did not rule out the possibility of turning to the Ohio State product this weekend. However, Gruden does expect Keenum to be ready to go, which means Redskins fans may have to wait a little longer for their first regular season glimpse of Haskins.

Now for more injury-related items from the NFC East:

  • A brief scare for the Cowboys, as WR Amari Cooper left practice early today with a right ankle injury. However, Todd Archer of ESPN.com says the team does not believe it’s a serious issue and expects Cooper to see his normal workload against the Saints on Sunday night.
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery was a full participant in practice today, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That obviously suggests that he’ll play in tomorrow night’s key matchup with the Packers. Philadelphia could certainly use him, as the team is at risk of falling to 1-3.
  • The Giants are still short-handed at wideout, as receiver Russell Shepard has been diagnosed with a foot sprain, per Rapoport (via Twitter). Shepard’s availability for Week 4 is in doubt.

Dak Prescott Extension Talks Hit Impasse; Latest On Amari Cooper

The pendulum in the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott negotiations continues to swing. A week after we heard that an extension for Prescott was “imminent,” negotiations have again reached a bit of an impasse, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

RapSheet suggests that the length of the deal may be the holdup. It seems that the Cowboys want to give Prescott an extension of at least five years, just as they have with their recent significant signees. But Prescott’s direct market comps, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, just inked four-year extensions with their respective clubs, and Prescott is likely eyeing a shorter-term deal so that he can cash in a second time a year sooner.

Prescott has previously indicated that he is not worried about playing while negotiations are ongoing, and his Week 1 performance only boosted his value. Rapoport said, “[i]t doesn’t seem like things will happen for the foreseeable future. Obviously that could change but that is the read right now.”

As for wide receiver Amari Cooper, we last heard that he and the Cowboys may be in something of a stalemate. Cooper’s patient approach has allowed him to watch the wide receiver market continue to soar, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes that the 2015 first-rounder will continue to be patient. He is eligible for free agency in March, and while he would like to remain in Dallas, Schefter says there is no guarantee he re-ups before testing the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys, Amari Cooper In Stalemate?

The Cowboys, at long last, got a deal done with Ezekiel Elliott. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much progress for star teammate Amari Cooper

There haven’t been a lot of negotiations with Amari (Cooper), period,”Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News). “And I’m not free to be able to share why. I think at some point we’ll start that. I don’t know what their parameters will be.”

Cooper, to date, has been saying and doing all of the right things. The wide receiver says that he wants to stay in Dallas and is also willing to play out the 2019 season in an effort to (re-) prove that he is worthy of a top-dollar deal.

Meanwhile, after getting the greenlight to play in Week 1, Cooper could be primed for a monster season. Cooper is willing to wait, and the Cowboys should have plenty of incentive to jumpstart talks.

For now, both sides are playing the waiting game. It might not be an ideal situation, but it’s far preferable to the one that Cooper’s former club finds itself in with his replacement, Antonio Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys

We learned earlier this week that the Cowboys had extended a lucrative contract extension to Ezekiel Elliott, but it still doesn’t sound like either side is making much progress on talks. Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram tweets that there’s been no new movement on the extension front. Hill passes along a brief quote from Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, who said the two sides aren’t close because there hasn’t been a lot of “activity.”

Elliott has reportedly been eyeing a contract that would be worth around $15MM per season. The Cowboys reportedly offered a contract that would have made the 24-year-old one of the two highest-paid running backs in the NFL. For reference, Todd Gurley is leading running backs with an average annual value of around $14.38MM, and Le’Veon Bell is currently at second with a $13.13MM AAV.

For what it’s worth, the running back retweeted a comment from former NFL lineman Joe Thomas, who indicated that Elliott should top Gurley’s deal:

“Throughout the course of NFL history, if you are the best player at your position (or clearly one of the best) when you re-sign a second contract with the team that drafted you, you usually beat the highest paid current contract at your position by 15 to 20%,” Thomas said.

Owner Jerry Jones recently made comments that the team is going to hold firm on their offer, which means there might be a significant monetary discrepancy if Elliott is indeed seeking $15MM per year.

While it doesn’t sound like Zeke’s holdout will be ending anytime soon, Jones apparently isn’t concerned. During an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, the executive sounded optimistic about the prospect of signing their star running back (as well as wideout Amari Cooper).

“We feel confident things will get done,” said Jones (via Twitter). “Things happen real quick, sometime within hours.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Compton, Fales

When announcing the new extension for linebacker Jaylon Smith at a press conference today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sent a clear message to a few other high-profile players who are eligible for extensions. Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic, “[t]he team takes precedent at a point over the opinion or the demand of the individual. The team takes precedent. This was a team move we are talking about today. The team takes precedent. And I’ve got the backbone to keep it that way” (Twitter link).

Obviously, that statement suggests that Jones is going to hold firm on the offers that have been extended to Ezekiel ElliottDak Prescott, and Amari Cooper, and as we detailed earlier today, Smith’s extension looks relatively team-friendly. Jones did say that there is “enough pie left” to get deals done with all of them, though he did not have an update on negotiations with the trio.

Let’s check out more from the NFC:

  • Free agent linebacker Will Compton will work out for the Saints, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. Compton, who played for the Redskins from 2013-17, was a full-time starter as recently as 2016. However, his 2017 campaign was marred by injury, and he played only 79 defensive snaps for the Titans last year in his first and only season in Tennessee. He would provide experienced LB depth in New Orleans, and he could also contribute on special teams.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press examines the Lions‘ backup QB situation, noting that presumptive QB2 Tom Savage missed his seventh straight practice on Tuesday (Savage is in the concussion protocol). That has meant more reps for David Fales and Josh Johnson, but Birkett says the Lions are unlikely to carry three QBs. So if Savage cannot be medically cleared by next Saturday, he could be cut. Fales looked sharp in the team’s last preseason game while Johnson struggled, so Fales may have a leg up if Savage can’t get healthy.
  • The 49ers fear that rookie wide receiver Shawn Poindexter suffered a torn ACL in Monday’s preseason win, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Poindexter, a UDFA from Arizona, appeared to be a prime practice squad candidate, and the club has already signed WR/KR Chris Thompson to take Poindexter’s place on the 90-man roster.