Dallas Cowboys scheme hurts Amari Cooper’s chances at 2,000 yards

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Amari Cooper joined the Dallas Cowboys via a trade and turned the team around. Now, aiming at 2,000 receiving yards, here’s why he’s unlikely to hit it.

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of their third straight winning season and a playoff win. In the offseason, the squad only lost one starting receiver, Cole Beasley.

The new leader of the wide receiver corps, Amari Cooper, believes the Cowboys can compete for a championship, and that he has to do his part. Cooper arrived in Dallas last year due to a midseason trade which cost the Cowboys their first round selection in this year’s draft.

Cooper made an appearance on Pro Football Talk earlier this week to promote the Gatorade Beat the Heat program. He also spoke on the culture in Oakland, the leadership of quarterback Dak Prescott, and much more. Towards the end of the interview, the host, Mike Florio asked Cooper about his goals for 2019.

Florio assumed Cooper’s goal for this year was at least 1,000 receiving yards, the longtime benchmark for receivers in the NFL. But the football commentator was shocked at Cooper’s response to his questions: One thousand and what? What are you shooting for?

"“You have to put a two  in front of that [meaning 2,000 yards] … That’s the goal.”"

Now is this realistic? Not at all. No NFL receiver has ever passed the 2,000-yard mark. The closest wideout to do so was the Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson who recorded 1,964 yards back in 2012.

Could  Cooper do it? Sure, but several factors will hurt his chances. Number one being running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is a workhorse back that excels when he runs the ball frequently. The Cowboys are not just going to shift from running a ground and pound-style offense to a team that slings the ball around 70 percent of the time.

Expect changes to be made to the scheme in Dallas with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in charge. But it will not be a massive 180-degree turn since the Cowboys basically have the same personnel that made the playoffs last year. Cooper will certainly get lined up in different spots and be more of a focus for the system. But would it be enough to rack up 2,000 receiving yards? Probably not.

The Pro Bowl receiver will put up good numbers, my guess is around the 1,400-yard range with 10 touchdowns. But that would still make him about 600 yards away from reaching his lofty goal.

To reach 2,000 yards, Cooper would have to average 125 yards a game. Last year with the Cowboys, Cooper played 11 total games (including playoffs) and only broke 100 yards twice. Granted, those games were spectacular as he put up 397 yards and five touchdowns.

So, if Cooper is to accomplish this task he must be more consistent. Not all of his inconsistency in numbers were his fault. Certainly, the coaching staff and Prescott share some blame.

With a full offseason to gain chemistry with Prescott and the rest of the receiving core, Cooper should jump right in an be a superstar once again. Cooper is working on a contract extension with the Cowboys and assuming he begins the year still searching for one, more numbers mean more cash.

Fans should be pumped to watch No. 19 take the field. Cooper is an artist in route running and electric with the ball in his hands. He might not be in for 2,000 yards, but he is in for one heck of a season.

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Do you think Amari Cooper can reach 2,000 yards in the Dallas Cowboys’ current scheme? Where would you rank Cooper amongst the top receivers in the NFL? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.