Amari Cooper: Move from Oakland to Dallas 'definitely necessary'

Amari Cooper says Raiders owner Mark Davis, not Jon Gruden, wanted to trade him to Cowboys

Amari Cooper is convinced he wouldn’t have been able to put up the numbers he did in 2018 had he not moved from Oakland to Dallas.

In a recent interview with Pro Football Talk, the Cowboys wide receiver discussed his transition after being traded in October and how it ultimately made him a better player without revealing too much detail as to why it just didn’t work with the Raiders.

“Yeah. Whatever the circumstances may be, there are certain reasons why one place might not work for a guy and another place will,” Cooper said, 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.”

Cooper led the Cowboys with 725 yards on 53 catches and had six touchdowns during the regular season despite only playing in nine games for Dallas. He added 171 receiving yards and a score in the postseason. On the other hand, he had just 280 yards on 22 catches with one touchdown through six games for the Raiders.

“I don’t think it was a good fit for me,” Cooper 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.”

Cooper is entering the final year of his rookie contract but reiterated last month that financial status isn’t important to him and he isn’t striving to become one of the league’s highest-paid players as he assured his new deal will get done eventually.

“It really doesn’t matter to me — not even thinking about that,” Cooper said at the time. “I’m just more focused on how I play and how I approach the game, the type of work that I put in. I really want to play well. I think everything starts with that.

“If you play good football, you’re going to be around for a long time. I do want to be a Dallas Cowboy for a long time. I love the organization. I love everything we have going on.”