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Amari Cooper's Goal: Be The NFL's Best WR 


ORLANDO - When the Raiders drafted Amari Cooper fourth overall back in 2015, they were anticipating he could be one of the NFL's best receivers.

When he went to two Pro Bowls his first two seasons, he looked to be on his way.
But while Cooper certainly found a couple of speed bumps along the way, resulting in Oakland's decision to trade him to Dallas, the wide receiver seems more than ready to continue that journey to be the best.

In fact, Cooper said he believes that can happen again now that he's in Dallas, where he made his third career Pro Bowl despite playing only nine games for the Cowboys.

In Orlando, following his first practice with the NFC squad Wednesday, Cooper was asked about the things that excites him.

"I'm excited to try to go out there and be a great football player," Cooper said. "To make a whole bunch of plays. To be the best receiver in the league. That's what I'm really excited about. I can see it. And I believe I can do it."

And that's why the Cowboys traded for him, giving a valued first-round pick to Oakland in exchange for the still-24-year-old receiver.

The Cowboys saw plenty of value in getting a younger, talented receiver who could help this offense down the road. But it's unlikely that many people expected such quick returns on their investment.

Cooper ended up leading the Cowboys in receiving yards with 725 and a team-high six touchdown catches. Combined with his stats from the Raiders to start the year, Cooper finished with 1,005 receiving yards.

While this is his third Pro Bowl appearance, he admitted this one has even more meaning because he only spent half the year in Dallas.

"It's very special in that way," Cooper said. "Not many people have switched teams in the middle of the season and reached 1,000 yards or been able to make it to the Pro Bowl. It's really special."

In fact, Cooper seems so excited about his new team and new surroundings, that he doesn't appear to eager to begin the offseason.

"I'm really excited about going into next season," Cooper said. "I wish the season could start now over again, because that's how excited I am. I had fun with my teammates with my new team. It was a very smooth transition. That's how I would describe it. It was just fun. The love of the game, playing football, it was everything you could imagine as a football player."

Cooper didn't have much to say about the decision to part ways with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, especially considering his success in just nine regular-season games, 

"I didn't have a problem with the offense. I liked where the offense was at," Cooper said. "Obviously I was able to be more productive than I was in Oakland. I'm not one to complain about what's going on. I guess it's part of the business. Any time you fall short of the ultimate goal, which is winning the Super Bowl, there's room for improvement. I guess that's the way that the organization was looking at things."

Just like the OC position, Cooper also shrugged off any talk about a possible new contract. He's entering the fifth-year option of his original contract he signed with the Raiders in 2015 and it's likely the Cowboys would consider giving him a new contract at some point this offseason.

 "I'm not really involved at all right now," Cooper said. "I'm just focused on the offseason, obviously my training, having fun, traveling, stuff like that. I'm not really involved at all."