Facing Free Agency, Cowboys' Amari Cooper Hopes to Remain in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL despite sitting at 6-6 on the season, and one of the primary reasons is the play of wide receiver Amari Cooper. The former Oakland Raiders first-round pick has been a primary piece of this offense since joining the team via trade in 2018, and he believes that he should be with this team for the foreseeable future.

“I’ve approached the situation like if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Cooper said. “Obviously, I’m more productive here than I was in Oakland, so why would I want to change things?”

Of course, Cooper is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the 2019 season, and he will need a contract extension to remain with the team. The franchise tag is one option to ensure he doesn't leave town, but the Cowboys could opt to use it on quarterback Dak Prescott, who is also in need of an extension of his own.

And while Cooper hasn't actually put much thought into his future given that the Cowboys are in the midst of a playoff race, he does believe that Dallas is the best home for him. He has piled up 64 receptions for 971 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 while remaining the top target for Prescott.

When Cooper was traded to the Cowboys in exchange for a first-round pick, this transaction was met with some skepticism from those outside Dallas. He had been struggling as a member of the Oakland Raiders, only tallying 280 yards and one touchdown in six games while learning Jon Gruden's offense.

Upon joining the Cowboys, however, Cooper and Prescott found seemingly instant chemistry. The Alabama product caught 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns to finish out the year, which created massive expectations for his first full season with America's Team.

The Cowboys may not have achieved as many wins as expected over the first 12 games of the season, but Cooper has been effective overall while pairing with Prescott. At home, in particular, he has produced while tallying 82 catches for 1,309 yards and 11 touchdowns at AT&T Stadium.

“I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” Cooper said about playing for the Cowboys. “It’s cool. [A reporter] talked about my numbers at home. It just feels good to play here, to live here. I’m happy. ... I love it here. I want to be here. I just love this situation, my teammates. I just feel it’s the place for me.”

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Cooper has expressed his desire to remain in Dallas for the future, but doing so will require a new contract extension. Will the Cowboys set aside a large chunk of change once the season ends, or will they use the franchise tag to keep the receiver around? The answer will likely depend on the contract status of Prescott, but the team would prefer to have Cooper continue to wear the star on his helmet.

(Photo Credit: Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto/Getty)

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