After one of the best seasons of his career in which he recorded a career-high 92 receptions with a 71% catch rate for 1,114 yards, Amari Cooper suffered a “cleaning” procedure on his right ankle. Despite only having his starting quarterback for the first five games, Cooper shone in 2020, not only living up to the new contract he signed in the previous March, but proving his production wasn’t exclusively linked to Dak Prescott.

Recovery from the ankle procedure took longer than expected, Cooper admitted on Tuesday, causing him to miss the first part of training camp at Oxnard.

Between CeeDee Lamb’s dominant appearance in camp and the 935 receiving yards he recorded last season, a Cowboys rookie record, it’s fair to speculate if the offense’s number one receiver status could soon to be challenged. That said, during Cooper’s time with the Cowboys, he only played one full season with Prescott, which, unsurprisingly, was the best year of his career to date. Having it in front of Gallup or Lamb, or both, the sky is the limit for the Cowboys passing attack.

Until Cooper officially returns to full training and Prescott himself is back in center with muscle strain in his throwing shoulder, nothing is guaranteed, of course. Cooper had surgery to remove the bone spurs in early January and was originally supposed to be ready for the start of camp.

Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Cooper, along with DeMarcus Lawrence, would not participate in practice until after training camp returned to The Star in Frisco more late this month.

Despite the extended rehab period, Cooper continued to work out, not content with just staying in shape by playing with the weight he still has, but getting closer to 210 pounds ahead of the season, via ESPN’s Todd Archer.

“I can do it all, maybe a little better, just because I re-educated myself so hard,” Cooper said. “I’ve talked to myself a lot lately about how I want this year to be different from any other year I’ve played football.”