Dallas Cowboys fans have had the luxury of watching two of their biggest stars from last season ball out in primetime this week. First, Amari Cooper helped the Browns defeat the Steelers on Thursday Night Football.
On Sunday night, Randy Gregory was maybe the Broncos’ best player on either side of the ball in an ugly low-scoring win over the 49ers.
It normally takes a while to properly evaluate a front office’s offseason. The Cowboys, however, aren’t your ordinary NFL team. Fans were furious with seemingly every decision the front office made this past offseason.
From refusing to add depth to the offensive line, to forcing Cooper out the door, to letting Gregory leave in humiliating fashion, the team’s puzzling decisions came home to roost in the Cowboys’ Week 1 blowout loss to the Buccaneers.
It’s unclear which move will go down as the most regrettable, but Cooper is definitely leading the charge through three games. So much so, in fact, that his new quarterback Jacoby Brissett thanked Dallas for trading Cooper to Cleveland.
Browns QB Jacoby Brissett is grateful the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper.
"“I’m glad they did it,” Brissett told NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero after the Browns win Thursday night. “I mean he’s been unbelievable, he’s one of the smartest, hardest-working players I’ve ever worked with, comes out here every week, every day working hard, putting in the work and it’s just a pleasure to play with him. I know that he wants to just continue to keep this going.”"
The Cowboys getting clowned by another team’s player? That’s nothing new, and it’s fully deserved considering Cooper’s been a godsend for Brissett, who’s exceeded expectations filling in for the suspended Deshaun Watson.
In the last two games, Cooper’s compiled 16 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns on a whopping 21 targets. Simply put, Cooper is doing for Brissett what he did for Dak Prescott after the Cowboys acquired him from the Raiders in the middle of the 2018 season: making his QB’s job a lot easier.
While Cooper was quiet in his Browns debut, he drew multiple pass interference penalties. That’s the brilliance of the four-time Pro Bowler. Whether he’s drawing penalties in the secondary or drawing double teams that allow his teammates to get open, Cooper impacts game even when he isn’t catching spirals.
If Week 1 was any indication, the Cowboys could use Cooper when they play against the league’s upper-echelon defenses. CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Noah Brown might be able to get the job done against the Bengals of the world, but Lamb hasn’t looked the part of a No. 1 receiver consistently through three games.
Cooper, meanwhile, has been a No. 1 receiver since he stepped foot in the NFL, but Jerry Jones and the front office convinced themselves that saving a few million against the cap was more important than paying his contract.
As such, Brissett and the Browns are reaping the benefits.