Cowboys WR Amari Cooper said leaving the Raiders for Dallas absolutely helped revitalize his career.
“Whatever the circumstances may be, there are certain reasons why one place might not work for a guy and another place will,” Cooper said in an interview with Pro Football Talk via the Dallas Morning News. “I think the change of scenery was really necessary. I really, honestly, don’t think if I would’ve stayed with the Raiders last season that I would’ve been able to flourish and reach some heights that I was able to reach as a Cowboy. It was definitely necessary.”
Among other factors, Cooper believes his struggles with the Raiders stemmed from the way he was utilized on the field. Cooper had only one touchdown in six games in Oakland and averaged 46.6 receiving yards per game. In his 11 games with Dallas, those totals jumped to seven touchdowns and 81.5 yards per game.
“I don’t think it was a good fit for me,” he said. “I don’t think I was really able to showcase my skills there for whatever reasons, I’ll call it extenuating circumstances. But for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to reach my heights and I kind of knew that I needed to be gone in order to do some of the things that I wanted to do as an NFL player… I felt like there are things that I wanted to do out there on the field during the games, certain plays that I wanted to be called and certain routes that I wanted to run that just weren’t a part of the game plan.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that DE Robert Quinn has had a strong spring and the team expects him to be able to take some pressure off of DE Demarcus Lawrence if he can stay healthy.
- The Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski lists RBs Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott and Josh Adams; WRs Shelton Gibson, Marken Michel and Greg Ward; LBs T.J. Edwards and Paul Worrilow; and TE Josh Perkins, OL Iosua Opeta, DE Daeshon Hall, S Blake Countess and DB Deiondre’ Hall as players on the bubble.
- Kempski has 36 roster locks and 16 near-locks, leaving one spot open for the 13 bubble players unless they can unseat a spot from the near-lock group.
- Gibson will be battling with fellow 2017 draft pick WR Mack Hollins for a spot on the roster, and ST coordinator Dave Fipp will likely have a major say in their fates: “Both of those guys have done a good job for us. Both of those guys have a lot to prove right now. Probably both offensively and on special teams.” (Mike Kaye)
“I think we can be productive and score more points and be a better offense this year,” Manning said on NFL Network, via Pro Football Talk.
“Odell obviously has that tremendous playmaking ability, he can catch a slant and turn it into a touchdown at any moment,” Manning said. “But I think Saquon, in his second year, the way he came on — he played great in the first half but that second half he was coming on and doing everything. Running the ball, catching the ball, we learned how to use him. I think Sterling Shepard, getting him going, getting Evan Engram playing to his potential, and then Golden Tate, a run-after-catch guy, a playmaker. I think the offensive line we made some additions, bringing in [Kevin] Zeitler at guard and those guys, I think the second year of that offensive line together will make a difference and everybody going into the second year.”