Cowboys WR Amari Cooper not focused on contract


Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper enters unfamiliar territory in 2019.

Cooper has one year remaining on his rookie contract, which pays a base salary of $13.9 million under the fifth-year option, but he's not focused on the business side of football.

"It's kind of weird situation, just being that I've never been in this situation before, talking about a contract," Cooper said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "But also, I'm under a fifth-year option, so I'm not too familiar with it. I really don't ask my agent many questions. I'm not really worried about it that much.

"I'm more focused on actually playing and really earning the respect, and then the contract."

The Cowboys knew what they eventually had to deal with when they shipped a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Cooper last year, signaling the decision makers in Dallas viewed Cooper as part of the future.

And according to Machota, the Cowboys and Cooper's camp are engaged in discussions, which Cooper confirmed.

"My agent has probably talked to me three or four times about where we are in the process," Cooper said. "I really don't think about it much. I feel like we have time. ... I feel like they're active about it and they want to get it done."

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have been busy taking care of in-house matters this offseason.

Dallas recently signed defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a lucrative five-year, $105 million extension, and have an estimated $19.4 million in salary cap space as of Wednesday morning.

The available money gives the Cowboys breathing room to work on a long-term deal on Cooper, and eventually quarterback Dak Prescott, who enters the final year of his contract, and running back Ezekiel Elliott, whom the Cowboys announced Wednesday will receive the fifth-year option.

Nevertheless, taking care of Cooper more than makes sense, of course, given what he accomplished in 2018 once he arrived in Dallas.

Cooper, who turns 25 on June 18, started nine games for the Cowboys and totaled 53 catches for 725 yards and six touchdowns, and there is no denying the instant chemistry he had with Prescott.

In 52 career games with the Raiders, Cooper's average catch percentage was 57.8 percent. In a nine-game span with Prescott, Cooper caught 69.7 percent of passes thrown his way.