Derek Carr And Amari Cooper Inexplicably Better Apart From Each Other

It’s a strange thing that’s going on with Amari Cooper right now. Ever since being traded to the Cowboys he looks like a Pro Bowl receiver again. In six games with the Raiders this year, Cooper put up a meager 280 yards on 22 receptions. In six games with the Cowboys, Cooper has 642 yards on 40 receptions.

Cooper’s numbers with the Cowboys would be a lot more discouraging if weren’t for the fact that Derek Carr is suddenly much better now that Cooper is far away from the Raider offense. In six games with Cooper, Carr threw for seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. In seven games without Cooper, Carr has thrown zero interceptions and eight touchdowns.

So what explains the turnaround for both players? Cooper might have explained as much not long after he was traded to Dallas.

“I wasn’t really happy in Oakland or anything like that. But when I sat and thought about it [Monday] night,” Cooper told Yahoo Sports shortly after being traded to the Cowboys. “I thought about the fact that they traded me away. I don’t know how to feel about it… Just reflecting on my last four games here and my personality here, I feel like it did change me, as far as having that chip on my shoulder. Not that I wasn’t passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changes me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it.”

On Carr’s end of the equation, it looks like he’s becoming more confident in the receiver group that he has without Cooper. Why Amari was so often on a different wavelength than Carr over the past two years is one of the great mysteries, but on some level it seems like Cooper had given up on the ship – or at the very least didn’t get much satisfaction from trying to right the ship. He also wasn’t know to be the most consistent practice player. Maybe it was agent driven (Cooper shares and agent with Khalil Mack), but it certainly looks like everyone benefited from Cooper’s trade to the Cowboys. The Raiders haven’t missed him and the Cowboys wouldn’t be where they are without him. It will, though, be interesting to see if/when Cooper will fall back into another of his inexplicable disappearing acts if things eventually go sideways in Dallas.

Looking ahead for the Raiders, there’s no question that Jon Gruden will go hard after a big-time receiver to replace Cooper in the offseason (probably by means of a costly trade) and the Raiders would probably be wise to go after a big physical target – maybe even two. Just an impression from watching Carr for the past five years… he likes to throw to receiver who can go up and get the ball. Maybe Seth Roberts hangs around another year (Carr likes him a lot) and Marcell Ateman is getting better. Gruden hinted at wanting to keep Jared Cook so that will probably happen, too – at a premium price no doubt.

Just a little prediction. Look for Gruden to make another Martavis Bryant-like trade (a second-round pick this time) and maybe even bring Bryant back, as well. There’s just no chance Chucky isn’t going to be aggressive in looking for another pass-catching playmaker.

twitter: @raidersbeat



1 thought on “Derek Carr And Amari Cooper Inexplicably Better Apart From Each Other

  1. I have wondered for a while why they couldn’t get on the same page and never seemed in sync. It seemed like they had a lot if common traits, but the chemistry was just never there

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