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Alabama in the Pros

Cowboys’ receiver Amari Cooper graces NFL’s Top 100 Player list for 2019

Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

Alabama head coach Nick Saban prides himself on putting a respectable product in the National Football League each year, and one can look no further than the league’s Top 100 Players list understand the reason. 

Four alumni members from the University of Alabama have been voted on to the list for this year, and the latest one was its all-time leading receiver. After a tough six games with the Oakland Raiders in 2018, Amari Cooper was traded to a new team and a new conference. 

Former UA stars on NFL’s Top 100 list for 2019 

Derrick Henry, RB, No. 99 

Mark Ingram, RB, No. 80 

C.J. Mosley, LB, No. 73 

Amari Cooper, WR, No. 64 

Oakland’s loss became Dallas’ gain, as the Miami (Fla.) native clicked with Dak Prescott and the other playmakers. Cooper totaled 22 catches for 280 yards with one touchdown in Oakland; however, he exploded for 53 receptions for 725 yards and six scores with the Cowboys. 

RELATED: Pair of former UA players voted to latest airing of NFL’s Top 100 Players list

Dallas was 3-4 before it acquired Cooper, but after landing him on Nov. 5 of last year, it would win seven of his last nine games of the regular season.

Behind the former All-American and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner, the Cowboys won the NFC East at 10-6 and defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Cooper turned in one of his three 100-yard performances (106) versus Seattle, but his finest work came in a matchup with the Eagles. 

As a divisional rival of the Cowboys, Philadelphia had no answers for Cooper. He had a career game with 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 10 catches.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder averaged 21.7 yards per reception and took a pass from Prescott 75 yards for a score, to help the franchise earn a 29-23 overtime win.

His effectiveness as a route runner, reliable target and manipulator of defenses landed him at No. 64 on the NFL’s Top 100 list. 

Cooper, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, notched his third 1,000-yard season since 2016, capturing 1,005 yards with seven scores on 75 catches in 2018. 

Prior to the NFL, he was a two-time Southeastern Conference champion (2012, 2014) and a BCS national champion (2012) with the Crimson Tide. Cooper’s output of 1,727 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns on 124 catches in 2014 set the school’s single-season record, while earning him unanimous All-American honors, first-team All-SEC honors and a spot as a Heisman finalist. 

His career ended with 228 catches for 3,463 yards and 31 scores.  

The first-round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft will get his big contract from the Cowboys soon, but he is not worry about it right now. He is looking to continue growing with this team.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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