Before the Raiders traded Amari Cooper to them last week, the Dallas Cowboys reportedly had some calls to make on the wide receiver.
The Cowboys wanted to ensure Cooper was worth sending a first-round draft pick to Oakland for, and all reports came back with glowing reviews, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing sources.
According to Schefter, the Cowboys' front office called former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Cowboys fullback Jamize Olawale -- who played with Cooper on the Raiders for three seasons -- among others.
Del Rio coached Cooper for three seasons in Oakland, from 2015 through 2017. Cooper was a two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for Del Rio and totaled 2,903 receiving yards with 18 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.
Saban coached Cooper for three years at Alabama, where the receiver was a star before being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Cooper had 3,463 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns in his three seasons in college, was a Consensus All-American in his junior year and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college.
Following another run-in with the law over the weekend, Aldon Smith was released by the Raiders Monday, and his former head coach chimed in a short time later.
Jack Del Rio made it known during his tenure as the Raiders head coach that he wished the league would allow teams to help troubled players more than they currently do.
On Monday, Del Rio reinterated that on Twitter.
Smith checked himself into rehab following an alleged domestic violence incident, his fiancee told TMZ Sports on Monday. A few hours later, the Raiders severed ties with the former first-round pick.
Last March, after Smith's reinstatement application wasn't ruled on by Roger Goodell, Del Rio stated his desire for the league to allow the Raiders to offer support.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules. It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”
Jack Del Rio may not be out of work very long.
Fired moments after the Raiders lost their season finale to the Chargers on Dec. 31, Del Rio is "leading candidate" to become the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, according to ESPN.
Del Rio joining the Giants is contigent on Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur being hired as New York's new head coach. According to ESPN, the Giants are planning a second interview with Shurmur this week.
In three seasons with the Raiders, Del Rio compiled a 25-23 record. After a 12-4 record and a playoff appearence in 2016, the Raiders finished with a disappointing 6-10 record this past season.
Del Rio is still owed a considerable amount of money by the Raiders through the 2020 season, a number in the range of $15 million.
Del Rio broke the news of his own firing, informing the media after the loss to the Chargers.
"Spoke with Mark Davis after the game and Mark let me know that he's not going to be bringing me back. He told me he loved me and appreciated all that I did to get this program going in the right direction but that he felt the need to change. I told him I appreciated the opportunity he gave me and I mean that. Very grateful. My childhood team. But it's a results based business, I understand that.," Del Rio said on Dec. 31.
A week later, the Raiders hired Jon Gruden to be their new head coach.