Amari Cooper was on the practice field with the Raiders on Tuesday when a member of the support staff pulled him off to meet with General Manager Reggie McKenzie. The receiver knew what was coming. He just didn’t know where he was going.
“I wasn’t really surprised because there were rumors,” Cooper said Wednesday.
The Cowboys gave up their first-round pick in 2019 to get Cooper, who immediately becomes the team’s No. 1 receiver. Cooper practiced with his new team for the first time Wednesday.
“It feels great,” Cooper said. “It feels like a fresh start, just like a freshman year in college or something like that.
“. . . This is a good team. I’m just giving them something to build on I guess you can say. And it’s America’s Team. Who wouldn’t be excited?”
Cooper, 24, never lived up to the expectations the Raiders had when they made him the No. 4 overall pick in 2015. He is the Raiders’ third-leading receiver this season with 22 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown, and he finished his Oakland career with 225 catches for 3,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in 52 games.
Now, he’s starting over, saying “it feels great to be wanted.”
“When I found out I was going to be a Dallas Cowboys, I just knew I would have to adapt fast,” Cooper said. “I knew everything would happen real fast. I didn’t really have time to think about it, to be honest. Flew here the next day, packed some stuff and was ready for a change.”
Cleared from his concussion, Cooper took his first throws from Dak Prescott on Wednesday. He plans to get some extra work in with his new quarterback this week with the Cowboys on their off week, and he will dive into the playbook all weekend.
“I have to stack the days together,” Cooper said. “Obviously learn the system, and just be ready to go out there when my name is called. All the other stuff will come.”