Cardinals signing Amari Cooper a better choice than keeping Christian Kirk?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Amari Cooper
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Amari Cooper /

The Arizona Cardinals got a solid season out of Christian Kirk in 2021, but should the team replace him with Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper?

Should the Arizona Cardinals go after soon-to-be former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has stated the Cowboys plan on releasing Cooper, while NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport has reported that Dallas is also trying to trade their former No. 1 wide receiver.

And with Kirk potentially leaving the desert, should the Cardinals let him walk and try for Cooper? The true answer is a complicated one.

If the Dallas Cowboys part with Amari Cooper, should the Arizona Cardinals sign him?

When you compare the duo’s numbers from last season, Cooper and Kirk had their own strengths and weaknesses. Kirk won out in the reception game while Cooper bested him in touchdowns.

Their number of first downs was nearly identical and you can say the same for their yards-per-reception. Both averaged 57.7 and 57.8 yards per game, respectively, while Kirk won out in catch percentage, with 74.8 compared to Cooper’s 65.4. Overall, both receivers posted stellar WR2 numbers.

Kirk is two years younger, implying the Cardinals would get more years out of him if he stays in Arizona. However, Kirk was also up-and-down before his breakout performance last season.

Since his rookie season in 2015, Cooper logged fewer than 70 receptions just twice. 2021 was the second season he fell short with 68 receptions. But his 12.7 yards per reception and eight touchdown catches show he was no pushover last season.

Cooper has been more consistent throughout his career. However, you can also argue that Kirk has a higher ceiling than Cooper, who at this point in his career most likely maxed out his potential as a high-end WR2.

Kirk shattered his career-highs in receptions, receiving yards, first downs, and yards per game. If the Cardinals think Kirk can become even better, they should keep him to lock down the WR2.

However, if they feel the consistent Cooper to be the better player moving forward and that Kirk will revert back to a more serviceable role, they may want to try for the proven talent.

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