Cowboys owner has no comment on Amari Cooper’s contract

After going 6-10 in 2020 when an injury sidelined quarterback Dak Prescott for 11 games, the Dallas Cowboys bounced back with a 12-5 performance and won the NFC East. during the 2021 season.

But Dallas opened the playoffs with a 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 16.

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“At the end of the day, yeah, I’m very, very frustrated and upset,” the Cowboys owner and general manager said. jerry jones said, “that we – you can call it COVID, you can call it anything – but we’ve used some really talented players over the last few years.”

During his weekly appearance on KRLD-FM in Dallas on Friday, Jones was asked about the contracts of two of those players — wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. But Jones only spoke about one — Cooper — and criticized the former Alabama All-American’s performance in 2021.

“The reason these contracts are being discussed is because they have two sides,said Jones. “One gets it, and the other has to pay for it. And whoever got him out is going to come out and perform, usually, at the contract level. That’s how I think about these contracts. You don’t just stand up and make contracts or deals with each other and decide that because you had a big (loss) at home, you’re going to change direction.

“And one of the things about contracts, you know, we have 10 players – and that’s how it is in the NFL – we have 10 players who get two-thirds of the money. Ten who get two-thirds money. And so you have to have a lot of other things that are a thought process when you’re sitting here talking about somebody’s contract.

“And, no, I have no comment on Cooper’s contract. I thought the way we played in the beginning, when we were making things happen, I thought Cooper was a big part of it. And I’m not ordinary. But since he fits in, he should take half the pitch with him when he goes down a route. Not half – that’s an exaggeration, of course, but a whole bunch of this defense should have Cooper to honor. And he should be able to catch it in the middle of when they go with him. Others do. You pitch to people who are covered all the time in the NFL. You have to.”

After catching 92 passes for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, Cooper caught 68 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021.

Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb led Dallas with 79 receptions for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. Tight end Dalton Schultz had 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns for the Cowboys this season.

Cooper missed two games in November on reserve/COVID-19 and had 26 fewer targets this season than last season. In 2020, Dallas passers threw at Cooper an average of 8.1 times per game. In 2021, Cooper’s goals have dropped to 6.9 per game, even though the passer rating when kicking off at Cooper was 116.9, in part because no pass aimed at Cooper was intercepted This year.

In December, Cooper called his use “very frustrating” and thought the Cowboys offense would be better served by featuring him on third down and in the red zone.

Although Cooper had fewer chances to make receptions in 2021 than in 2020, he also didn’t capitalize on those chances as well as he did last year. In 2020, 69.6% of passes thrown at Cooper were successful. In 2021, the completion rate fell to 57.7%.

Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension in March 2020 to stay with the Cowboys. In each of the next three seasons, Cooper is expected to receive the same compensation as in 2021 – a base salary of $20 million with a bonus of $2 million. He wore the highest base salary among wide receivers in the NFL this season.

Cooper has already recovered the $40 million that was guaranteed to him when he signed his contract. The Cowboys could cut Cooper without owing him anything — as long as they do so before the fifth day of the 2022 NFL trade year. March 20, Cooper’s $20 million salary for the 2022 season will become guaranteed.

Cooper is expected to count $22 million on Dallas’ salary cap in 2022.

Although the salary cap figure for 2022 has yet to be set, only the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers currently have more money spent on 2022 player contracts than the Cowboys.

If Dallas were to trade or release Cooper now, he would. count 6 million dollars against his 2022 salary cap, freeing up $16 million in room. If the Cowboys could trade Cooper with a designation after June 1, the dead money would split into $2 million in 2022 and $4 million in 2023, which would provide $20 million in salary cap relief This year.

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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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