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14.01.2019 08:52
trading a first-round pick for Oakland receiver Amari Cooper in Raiders coach Jon Antworten

The Dallas Cowboys made a bold move for the present Monday http://www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.com/thomas-morstead-jersey , Gruden's latest play for the future.The Cowboys gave up their top pick in the next draft in hopes of giving quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon just a few months after releasing franchise touchdown catch leader Dez Bryant in a cost-cutting move.Dallas (3-4) has struggled to score points while losing all four road games, including 20-17 Sunday at Washington . And Cowboys receivers haven't made many big plays in their first season without Bryant and retired tight end Jason Witten, the club leader in catches.The Cowboys decided Bryant wasn't worth $12.5 million in 2018 after three subpar seasons since signing a big contract following his only All-Pro year in 2014.Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Cowboys executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones called last week to say he'd check in on Cooper on Monday and offered the first-round pick that the Raiders were holding out for before making a deal.Cooper was the fourth overall draft pick by the Raiders out of Alabama three years ago. He started his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and had two 100-yard games this year, but had just two targets and one catch since the second of those games.The 24-year-old Cooper 鈥?five years younger than Bryant 鈥?was placed in the concussion protocol after leaving Oakland's last game against Seattle on Oct. 14.Dallas receivers have just one 100-yard game combined through seven games, by Cole Beasley in a Week 6 win over Jacksonville. The Cowboys are going into their bye week, and the Raiders are returning from their break to face Indianapolis at home Sunday.For Gruden, dealing his most accomplished receiver doesn't compare to the preseason trade that sent two-time All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago. But it is another example of the Raiders (1-5) looking to the future.Oakland figures to have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, and now has three first-rounders with the Cooper trade."This is where we get a great opportunity to build," McKenzie said. "We've got pieces now, but we can really rebuild on what we have. With this group, the coaches that I've got here, knowing where we're heading schematically on both sides of the ball and special teams, we're going to build this thing . we've got the ammunition to build this thing really well."Cooper was the third receiver started his career with back-to-back seasons with 1,000 yards receiving and 70 catches, following Odell Beckham Jr. and Marques Colston but has been unable to build on that success the past two years.He has just 70 catches for 960 yards since the start of 2016 as his inconsistency has become a bigger problem. Cooper has been held under 30 yards receiving in 13 of his past 26 games. Cooper has 3,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in three-plus seasons.The Raiders have now dealt two key pieces away from a 12-win team in 2016 and look to be in major rebuilding mode now."It's disappointing. Real disappointing," McKenzie said. "It was starting to get that way last year when we somewhat took a nosedive, but I understand the NFL, the system will not allow you to keep them all."It's not the first time Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has made a big trade for a former top-10 pick at receiver, and the other two attempts didn't go well.In 2000 Womens Ryan Ramczyk Jersey , Jones sent two first-round picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway before the first of three straight 5-11 seasons. Galloway, drafted eighth overall by the Seahawks in 1995, didn't have a 1,000-yard season in four years with the Cowboys.About this time 10 years ago, the Cowboys got Roy Williams from Detroit for three draft picks, including a first-rounder. The former Texas standout's first full season with Dallas was his best, with 596 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.The Cowboys made the playoffs once in two-plus years with Williams, in 2009, when they won the franchise's first postseason game since the last of five Super Bowl victories following the 1995 season. Williams was drafted seventh overall by the Lions in 2004.AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed. Saints third-string quarterback Taysom Hill never envisioned launching his body across the path of a punted ball when he arrived in New Orleans last season to serve as an understudy to record-setting passer Drew Brees.Yet his momentum-changing blocked punt in last week's comeback victory at Tampa Bay became just his latest highlight that has nothing to do with dropping back from the line of scrimmage and throwing a football.It has become increasingly apparent this season that the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Hill has the potential to become the NFL's ultimate utility player. And if doing so improves the Saints' Super Bowl odds, Hill's game."Standing on the sideline with a hat on and a clip board and a sweat shirt is not as fun as doing what I'm doing," Hill said.The 28-year-old Hill's embrace of his unconventional role comes with risk, particularly in light of his background. He had major injuries in four of his five seasons at BYU: a knee injury, a bone fracture in his leg, a foot fracture and a hyper-extended elbow.But at this point, Hill doesn't see himself playing special teams throughout his career."I thought that I would come in and develop as a quarterback and have the opportunity to compete to play at quarterback," Hill said. "That's what I'm still hopeful for."In the meantime, Hill has made a value judgment. He loves playing, so he's willing to make his skill set available in ways he might not have previously considered."I'm grateful that the coaches here had a vision for me and then created opportunities," Hill said. "That's unique and I'm grateful for the coaching staff here that had a vision, but then they took a chance Authentic Marshon Lattimore Jersey , right? Because if things don't go well, they look silly."Instead, Hill has already made enough plays on special teams that Saints coach Sean Payton figures Hill, if he wanted to, could make a sustained NFL career out of doing just that, much like Steve Tasker did with Buffalo or Fred McAfee did in New Orleans."Yet, the difference is, I think he can be a quarterback. I think that's the plan," Payton said. "The plus is he has that athleticism, size, and speed. He can do a lot of things."He has very good savvy," Payton continued. "He's catching. He's rushing. He's tackling. He's running. He's throwing. I mean, he's just a good football player."Hill has five special teams tackles this season. He's returned a kickoff for 47 yards and helped convert two fake punts into first downs as an upback, one running and one throwing. He has even lined up at tight end.At times, Payton inserts Hill at quarterback in place of Brees for read-option runs, one of which went for a 1-yard touchdown. Hill also completed a 44-yard pass to Michael Thomas at Minnesota.Hill said that if he does get his shot to play quarterback more regularly, he wants to be more of a traditional passer, albeit one who can run when prudent."I'd much rather throw for a touchdown than run for one," Hill said. "But I think there are elements of my game that make it difficult on a defense and I think it would be dumb not to take advantage of that."In high school in Idaho, Hill was a standout football player and basketball player. On the court, his size Authentic Michael Thomas Jersey , strength and jumping ability 鈥?he can dunk 鈥?led coaches to play him at power forward. He was a strong rebounder, and with his background as a quarterback, had little trouble passing out of double-teams.He had small college basketball offers but initially committed to play football at Stanford before deciding that BYU would suit him better after he completed a Mormon mission.He began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay last season. When he was waived at the end of training camp, Payton signed Hill to New Orleans' active roster. Late last season, the Saints dabbled with putting Hill on special teams to make use of his athleticism, and he quickly started being the first down the field and making tackles."He's so good at it you're not going to have him just sitting there holding the clipboard," Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi said. "He's got to go play."Running back Alvin Kamara said Hill has earned respect across the Saints' locker room."He does it all. He's a tough player," Kamara said. "A lot of things he does, that's not things that one person does. You usually get a couple of people to do all the things he does."In New Orleans, Hill has captured the imagination of many fans. The Superdome crowd rumbles with anticipation when he takes the field."Obviously, I'm blessed athletically to create opportunities like this, but I think the moral of my story that can relate to anyone is you can overcome a lot in life if you're willing to spend the time, energy and effort," Hill began.And then there's the part about being adventurous enough to seize unanticipated opportunities."That comes from doing something you really love, right? And I love football," Hill said. "I love competing and that's why it was an easy answer for me when they asked me to do different things. So if you're doing something you love, you might experience setbacks, but overall you're going to be willing to work at whatever it is or adjust on the fly to whatever situation comes up." 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