The highlight of his first year in Dallas was a 217-yard, three touchdown performance against NFC East rival Philadelphia in Week 14 where he also notched the game-winning TD in overtime.
Cooper — the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 draft — showed that he can be elite during a year where he racked up 725 yards and six touchdowns receiving in nine games with the Cowboys.
The key going forward for the Alabama product will be consistency, which his receivers coach Sanjay Lal addressed at minicamp this week.
“Amari can do whatever he sets his mind to. He’s that gifted,” Lal told ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Not just physically but mentally. With Amari, it’s can he do everything at an elite level? That’s where the mind discipline comes in because he has the talent to be elite in every aspect of his game. He’s such a great athlete, such a really good player, he has to hold himself to a standard of, ‘Hey, I’m elite. I’m going to play and practice that way,’ and I have to hold him to that standard. What is your level of play and can you keep it there for 50, 60, 70 plays?”
Despite making the Pro Bowl a year ago, Cooper had just two regular season games where he broke the 100-yard mark.
The Cowboys went 7-2 after acquiring Cooper, who was learning the playbook on the fly and compounding improved chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott every week.
“It’s obviously a very good thing to get a full offseason with your quarterback, the guy who’s going to be throwing you the ball on many different types or routes,” Prescott told ESPN. “So we just need that chemistry to get better and better.”
New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore echoed those sentiments when talking to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
“For him, it’s seeing the whole picture now,” offensive coordinator Kellen Moore told ESPN. “Him being here for an offseason, you’re able to move him around a little bit more, put him in some different spots, some formations, motions, all that sort of stuff. That stuff will help us help him and create opportunities for him.”
Cooper will be the team’s No. 1 option, with Michael Gallup contending with Randall Cobb for catches out of the slot. The veteran addition from Green Bay singed a one-year deal with the Cowboys this offseason.
Cobb, who is 28, ranks sixth in Packers franchise history with 470 receptions, and 11th in both receiving yards (5,524) and receiving touchdowns (41).
Allen Hurns will also help out once her returns from a gruesome injury he sustained last season.
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Cooper has said that he is not worried about his next contract, which the team hopes to get done this offseason. He has just one year left on his rookie deal.
“It’s kind of weird situation, just being that I’ve never been in this situation before, talking about a contract,” Cooper said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “But also, I’m under a fifth-year option, so I’m not too familiar with it. I really don’t ask my agent many questions. I’m not really worried about it that much.”
Cooper is looking for one of the largest contracts at his position, according to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic. The Cowboys will not likely want to do that.
Currently, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham has the highest average salary at $18 million per year, and also collected the largest guarantee ($65 million).
The Cowboys already signed defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to a lucrative five-year, $105 million extension this offseason, and are also negotiating with Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
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