Jerry Jones tells se­crets be­hind trade for Amari Cooper

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY CLARENCE E. HILL JR. chill@star-tele­gram.com

The Dal­las Cowboys be­gan work­ing on the Amari Cooper trade well be­fore last Sun­day’s 20-17 loss to Wash­ing­ton.

Owner Jerry Jones and vice pres­i­dent Stephen Jones ini­ti­ated talks with Oak­land Raiders gen­eral man­ager Reg­gie McKinzie last week and be­gan go­ing over the short-term and long-term ram­i­fi­ca­tions.

The scout­ing depart­ment then be­gan a com­plete workup on Cooper with Jones talk­ing per­son­ally with for­mer Raiders coach Jack Del Rio and coach Ja­son Gar­rett talk­ing to Alabama coach Nick Sa­ban to get a thor­ough eval­u­a­tion of him as an in­di­vid­ual and a player.

So the Cowboys were well down the road when Jones ap­peared to avoid the me­dia in the locker room fol­low­ing the Wash­ing­ton game. He was seen in the cor­ner of the train­ing room hud­dled with Stephen Jones and scout­ing di­rec­tor Will McClay.

Jones then left via a side door with­out talk­ing to the me­dia for one rea­son and one rea­son only. He said he was very in­volved from the be­gin­ning and didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag.

“We were ac­tu­ally dis­cussing lo­gis­tics there Sun­day night while the team was in the dress­ing room,” Jones said Fri­day on 105.3 The Fan. “I had sev­eral things on my mind and I didn’t want to hem and haw around about it. You know, I can’t keep a se­cret. So the bot­tom line is, I thought it was best to move on.”

The Cowboys com­pleted the trade on Mon­day, send­ing a first-round pick to the Raiders in ex­change for Cooper.

Jones says Cooper is “as ad­ver­tised in terms of just his con­sci­en­tious­ness, how he ap­proaches it, his work ethic” to go along with “unique skills.”

Jones also bowed up against

the ac­cu­sa­tion that the move was an ad­mis­sion that the team’s plan to head to the sea­son with a re­ceiver-by-com­mit­tee ap­proach fol­low­ing the re­lease of Dez Bryant on April 13 was a fail­ure.

He pointed out that the Cowboys tried to sign a No. 1 re­ceiver at the start of free agency when they failed to ac­quire Sammy Watkins, who chose the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It wasn’t that we didn’t at­tempt to sign a re­ceiver in free agency,” Jones said. “Ev­ery­thing has to fit, though. Ev­ery­thing has to fall in place. We have been look­ing at re­ceivers through­out the off­sea­son and into this sea­son.”

Jones ex­pects Cooper to make an im­me­di­ate im­pact and “change the dy­namic” of the Cowboys of­fense “the minute he walks on the field” on Nov. 5 for Mon­day Night Foot­ball.

But he said the deal was made with the fu­ture in mind as well.

Cooper’s age, 24, and tal­ent to be a core foun­da­tional piece for the fu­ture are the rea­sons that Jones was will­ing to give up a first-round pick for him.

“Make no mis­take about it, that’s where all the con­ster­na­tion was about this move, that first-round pick,” Jones said. “We re­ally thought that if we had the op­por­tu­nity that it was likely that a re­ceiver if an out­stand­ing re­ceiver were there, would be the pick [in the first-round of 2019 NFL Draft]. His youth had ev­ery­thing to do with it. And then the cal­iber of player that he was.”

“We knew we had the op­por­tu­nity here to get a player that frankly is proven, and have real youth in­volved so we can look at it long-term. We wouldn’t give that first-round pick up if it wasn’t for the long term. And the other thing we can do is step in here and have im­me­di­ate value for him for this year. I’m ex­cited.”

Jones said it wasn’t just about des­per­a­tion this year that prompted the move, but about the op­por­tu­nity to add to what the Cowboys al­ready have.

“I re­ally do think the makeup of this group, the tal­ent level on both sides of the ball,” Jones said. “I think we have some­thing spe­cial here. Any time we can keep in step with that, keep that foot­print go­ing for­ward, I’m on board with that.”

MICHAEL AINSWORTH As­so­ci­ated Press

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ex­pects newly-ac­quired re­ceiver Amari Cooper to make an im­me­di­ate im­pact and change the dy­nam­ics of the of­fense.

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