The Dallas Cowboys' season once again ended in a disappointing fashion. Despite being favored and at home, they couldn't get past the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.
Now, Mike McCarthy's team is looking to make some tough, yet necessary moves in the offseason to try and build from that effort. And that might mean to part ways with Amari Cooper.
The former Las Vegas Raiders wideout was supposed to break out as one of the league's finest receivers. But his production with the Cowboys has taken a dip as of late, and it's hard to justify that $20 million salary.
NFL Rumors: Cowboys Didn't Like Amari Cooper's Effort
But besides the massive paycheck and the implications it could have on their salary cap, it seems like the Cowboys really want to move on from Cooper because they feel like he quit on them, especially after refusing to abide by the league's Covid-19 protocols:
(Transcript via Richie Witt of Sports Illustrated)
"'The Cowboys don’t necessarily think he quit,' the source said, 'but … let’s just say they found his effort at the end troubling.'
The receiver was targeted a team-high 10 times in January's Wild Card loss to the San Francisco 49ers, catching six passes for 64 yards and a 20-yard touchdown that pulled Dallas within 13-7 midway through the second quarter. Considering No. 1 receiver CeeDee Lamb's quiet afternoon - only one catch for 21 yards - it seems peculiar the Cowboys bristled at Cooper's production.
In the second half he caught just two passes for 27 yards, none in the game's final 9:35. But it was his lack of effort - and visible indifference to blocking - on Dallas' fateful possession that apparently left a bad taste in the organization's mouth."
(...) '(The Cowboys) thought they had a team that could go far the playoffs – maybe even to the Super Bowl… But with the season on the line, (Cooper) kind of shrunk. It might sound unfair to judge an entire season by a couple of plays. But in the end for them it was … just very disappointing.'"
Cooper is young and physically gifted enough to draw plenty of interest in free agency, assuming he's willing to play at the right price. For now, it seems like he may have played his final snap for America's Team.