Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks Amari Cooper can be great but suggested he didn't view him as someone who is worth $20 million per year. The Cowboys signed Cooper to a five-year, $100 million deal two years ago but traded the star wide receiver to the Cleveland Browns this offseason.
"We had to look hard at the 10 or 11 players who are getting two-thirds of the money," Jones said of the decision to part ways with Cooper, per the team's website. "We have to make sure every one those players are pulling as much weight as you can because of the economic emphasis.
... At the end of the day, it is a financial allocation toward the talent, and you've got to consider availability, and that sometimes departs from the best route runner."
Jones moving Cooper shouldn't be a surprise
In early January, Cooper publicly voiced his displeasure with the lack of targets.
Also, there were reports of the Cowboys not being happy with Cooper's production after signing the extension. “I really know that, if given the opportunity, I can lead the league in all categories,” Cooper conveyed to reporters in January.
“That’s just how I feel about my skill set that I’ve been blessed with. Obviously that’s a goal of mine. But it’s just like basketball. If you want to make a hundred 3s, you got to shoot over a hundred.
It’s the same with me. “If I want to catch a hundred balls, I’ve got to have those targets, and that’s not really in my control. You know what I mean? I just play my part." Also, Jones reflected on the last-minute contract fallout with Randy Gregory.
The Cowboys and Gregory agreed on an extension but Gregory backed out of the deal because he wasn't happy with contract language. Gregory instead signed a five-year deal with the Denver Broncos. There were reports suggesting Jones tried to talk Gregory out of signing with the Broncos.
However, Jones claimed it was him that said no. "Literally, I was on the phone with Randy and his agent, and I said 'El Paso,' that little West Texas town. I said 'El Paso -- thank you, but no thank you.'
And he said 'I'll go ahead and get on the plane,'" said Jones. "So we could have done something there, and they asked if we would do that, and I didn't do it. And I didn't do it of my own volition.
... I want him to have a lot of success, except when he's playing the Cowboys. "But I'm a fan of Randy's and I was thinking that his best was ahead of him."