Amari Cooper's final days in Oakland were a forgettable hodgepodge of inconsistency and head-scratching usage. After struggling through six games under Jon Gruden, the Raiders' top receiver was shipped to Dallas, where he starred once again.
During a radio interview with Pro Football Talk last week, Cooper reiterated that the change of scenery was essential to reboot his career.
"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."
In 11 games with Dallas, including playoffs, Cooper averaged 81.45 receiving yards per tilt and scored 7 TDs. In six games with Gruden's Raiders, the wideout generated 46.6 receiving yards with one TD. Cooper believes part of the production discrepancy was his questionable usage in Oakland.
"I don't think it was a good fit for me," he 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."
After being unleashed in Dallas, Cooper appears poised for another big season as the No. 1 target in the Cowboys' offense. New coordinator Kellen Moore plans to be more creative with his scheme and move the dynamic receiver around more than previous coaches, which could help generate positive matchups. Add in a full offseason of chemistry building between Cooper and Dak Prescott, and it all portends a big year for the wideout, regardless of whether he's playing under a new big contract or not.