Amari Cooper: Raiders weren't using me the best way

The Amari Cooper trade changed the course of the Dallas Cowboys' season, providing a floundering offense a third-down playmaker and home run threat on the outside. His arrival has completely opened the Cowboys' offense.

The trade also altered how the receiver approaches his future.

"I feel like it kind of changed me, like, as a person a little bit," Cooper told Kimberley Martin of Yahoo Sports.

Cooper said he "wasn't really happy in Oakland" and noted the Cowboys are using him much more prolifically than Jon Gruden's Raiders, who jettisoned the wideout for a first-round pick.

"I looked at it totally different than most people looked at it," Cooper told Martin. "[The Raiders] basically said, 'We could get a guy, who's going to contribute better than he will, in the first round.' And I didn't know how to feel about that.

"I just always felt like I wasn't really being used how I felt like I would have used me if I was the coach. So I looked at it from that perspective, not from the perspective that, 'Oh, they don't think I'm good enough' or I'm not good enough.

"I never had those questions in my mind. At all."

The stats substantiate Cooper's thought process. He has been targeted on 24.4 percent of his routes in Dallas compared to 15.4 percent with Oakland. The uptick led to his receiving yards per route run almost doubling from 1.4 with the Raiders to 2.7 with the Cowboys.

Since integrating Cooper fully into the offense, the Cowboys are on a three-game winning streak heading into Thursday's tilt versus the New Orleans Saints.

Since trading for the Pro Bowl receiver the Cowboys offense has averaged 3.5 more points per game, Prescott is averaging 50.2 more passing yards per tilt, and the QB's passer rating leaped from 87.4 to 102.4.

"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," Cooper told Martin. "Not that I wasn't passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changed me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it.

"Because when you get traded, you start to think, 'Wow, that can happen,'" he added, snapping his fingers for emphasis, "Just like that."

Cooper's comment on passion is notable, as rumors swirled during the end of his time in Oakland that he didn't enjoy playing.

The trade rejuvenated the talented receiver and lifted a struggling Cowboys offense into one that can contend for the division crown.

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