Cowboys' Amari Cooper: 'Hopefully' I'll Return to Dallas Next Season amid Speculation

Adam WellsJanuary 18, 2022

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper runs with the ball after making a catch against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Philadelphia. The Cowboys won 51-26. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

One of the biggest offseason questions for the Dallas Cowboys involves the future of Amari Cooper with the organization. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Cooper was asked if he is going to be back with the Cowboys in 2022. 

"I don’t make those decisions," he said. "I honestly don’t know, but hopefully."

There has been speculation about Cooper's future with the Cowboys since before the start of the 2021 season.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported in August that looming salary-cap issues could force Dallas to part ways with either Cooper or Michael Gallup. 

Per Spotrac, the Cowboys are currently projected to be $21.3 million over the 2022 cap. Cooper has the third-highest cap hit on the team next season ($22 million), but his dead cap number is only $6 million if they trade or release him. 

Gallup is one of several key Cowboys players who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency. Randy Gregory, Jayron Kearse and Dalton Schultz could also hit the open market if not extended. 

Cooper just completed his seventh NFL season. The four-time Pro Bowler has had at least 1,000 yards five times in his career, including each of his first two full seasons with Dallas in 2019 and 2020. 

The Cowboys acquired Cooper from the Oakland Raiders in October 2018. He has 3,893 yards and 27 touchdowns in 56 games since the trade. 

Despite missing two games during the regular season, Cooper's eight touchdown receptions were tied for most on the Cowboys. He finished second on the team with 865 receiving yards. 

Cooper caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in Dallas' 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Wild Card game on Sunday.