Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper got nothing but public support from his teammates and coaches after testing positive for COVID-19 and being forced to miss two games because he is one of the few players in the locker room who chose not to get vaccinated.
However, owner Jerry Jones expressed frustration with how Cooper’s individual decision impacted “we” and “the team”.
And Cowboys Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin expressed anger that Cooper would do anything to cost the team.
Jones made his comments on his radio show on 105.3 the Fan.
“You check ‘me’ at the door in a football team,” Jones said. “The facts are it is a ‘we’ thing when you walk into the locker room, and anybody is being counted on to pull his weight. Everybody understands our rights and our options as it pertains to those rights.
“But this is a classic case of how it can impact a team. This is not individual; this is team. You cannot win anything individually. But the point is this popped us. This did pop us.”
Irvin was flagged down by TMZ sports and didn’t hold back.
“I’m absolutely hot about it,” Irvin said. “Are you joking?!
“I got a guy who makes $21 million on the bench at home not playing,” Irvin added. “It’s crazy.You have to try to mitigate any issue that could cost you a game or a Super Bowl, and COVID is one of them. You go get vaccinated to try to mitigate it, best you can.”
Cooper, the team’s second-leading receiver who is in the second year of a contract that pays him $20 million annually, missed last Sunday’s 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He will not play against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday.
He is expected to return for the Dec. 2 game at the New Orleans Saints.