Amari Cooper excited by 'fresh start' with Cowboys after Raiders trade

Amari Cooper excited by 'fresh start' with Cowboys after Raiders trade

Amari Cooper is moving on.

The former Raiders wide receiver was on the practice field for the first time with his new team Wednesday, two days after being traded to the Cowboys.

Cooper is excited for the change of scenery in Dallas after leaving a 1-5 team in Oakland. 

"It feels great," Cooper told reporters. "It feels like a fresh start, just like a freshman year in college or something like that.

Cooper admitted the former first-round draft pick didn't see a trade coming, but once rumors started to swirl, he wasn't surprised either. Being traded to Dallas sounds like an ideal situation for the four-year pro.

"I mean the first thing you think about when you hear the Cowboys is that star, 'America's Team,' and all of that. It's a great franchise," Cooper said. "When I found out I was going to be a Dallas Cowboy, I don't know, I just knew I would have to adapt fast.

"I knew everything would happen real fast." 

The 24-year-old was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two NFL seasons. Since then, he hasn't lived up to the billing of a former top pick. Cooper went from back-to-back years over 1,000 receiving yards to just 680 in 14 games last season. Through six games this season, Cooper has just 280 yards on 22 catches and one touchdown.

Right away in his first practice with the Cowboys, Cooper felt comfortable with quarterback Dak Prescott. The two will have more time to work with each other, too, as the Cowboys are on a bye week.

"I really like the way he throws the ball," Cooper said. "It's a good ball."

The Cowboys currently are 3-4 and in third place of the NFC East. 

Raiders, Packers play on 80-yard field due to turf issues in Winnipeg

Raiders, Packers play on 80-yard field due to turf issues in Winnipeg

The Raiders’ trip to Canada is not going well. They gave away a preseason home game to play the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg and, let’s be honest, decrease the rent owed to the Oakland Coliseum.

The exhibition has been compromised by concerns over the artificial playing surface at IG Field, host to a CFL team and a professional soccer club. Most notably, by a hole in one of the end zones.

Canadian football is played on different field dimensions, so the place where CFL goal posts are is right in the middle of an NFL end zone.

Officials grew concerned about the issue, and after an attempt to remedy the issue and several discussions between Raiders and Packers officials, the teams decided to play on an 80-yard field. Officials put pylons on the 10-yard line to mark the start of the end zone. They eliminated kickoffs, though punting was permitted. 

Yeah, you read that right.

“Tonight’s game is being played on a reconfigured field,” the NFL said in a statement. “The field met mandatory practices for the maintenance of surfaces for NFL games based on an inspection yesterday.

“Concerns arose today surrounding the area where the Blue Bombers’ goal posts were previous located. The 10-yard line will function as the goal line in this game. In lieu of kickoffs, the ball will be placed at the 15-yard line.”

It was a solution decided just before the proposed 5 p.m. Thursday night kickoff, one made to salvage the experience for a market new to NFL football and get some work in just a few weeks before the regular season begins.

[RELATED: Raiders receivers coach breaks down stacked group]

The Raiders weren’t expected to play their frontline starters before all this. The Packers pulled all of their impact starters, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Davante Adams.

The Raiders followed suit. They didn't play quarterback Derek Carr and every other offensive starter. Maurice Hurst and Brandon Marshall were the only frontline defensive players in the game. The Silver and Black even sat second-line players expected to be impactful this season.

Antonio Brown trolls Steelers over 'Hard Knocks' viewership in Pittsburgh

Antonio Brown trolls Steelers over 'Hard Knocks' viewership in Pittsburgh

There shouldn't be any love lost between Antonio Brown the people of Pittsburgh. After the star receiver forced the Steelers to trade him to the Raiders this past offseason, the Steel City faithful have every reason to never want to see AB84 and his antics ever again. 

And yet, like a lover pining after the one who used to have their heart, the fine folks of Pittsburgh apparently can't look away. 

With the helmet drama and feet ailment swirling around Brown and the Raiders this offseason, everyone wanted to tune into "Hard Knocks" to see how the drama would unfold this past Tuesday. That includes those in Pittsburgh. More than most, apparently. 

When the viewership numbers for the latest episode of HBO's training camp documentary were released, it showed that Pittsburgh viewership numbers were more than triple (!) the national average. 

That, of course, was music to Brown's ears and he made it known with a quick jab on Twitter.

Maybe it's more like a watching a car wreck and they just can't turn away? Or they want to have a good laugh at the predicament the Raiders now find themselves in. One Steelers fans know all too well.

But it's no surprise AB doesn't see it that way. 

[RELATED: Mayock, Raiders examining turf prior to game vs. Packers]

Brown practiced with a "certified helmet" Tuesday, but he is not expected to play the Packers on Thursday in Winnipeg. 

It appears the seven-time Pro-Bowl receiver will don the Silver and Black for the first time Week 1 when the Broncos visit the Coliseum on "Monday Night Football."