Cowboys’ Amari Cooper dominant in loss to Bucs, but wants ‘great’ not ‘good’ catches from Dallas WRs

Lest ye neglect, Amari Cooper does not merely need the mashed potatoes in 2021 — he wants the gravy, too. For Cooper, which means greater than merely racking up yet one more 1,000-yard season, however as a substitute making a deep run into the postseason and probably hoisting a Lombardi trophy for the primary time in his in any other case spectacular profession. Very similar to Dak Prescott, who basically thumped the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Week 1 to the tune of 403 yards and three touchdowns, Cooper cannot do it alone in what’s nothing in need of a loaded WR corps. 

To that time, the one interception tallied by Prescott wasn’t actually accountable to him — making a keyhole throw on a frozen rope by triple protection to CeeDee Lamb solely to see it bounce off of his palms and into these of the defender. On the entire, whereas Lamb’s stat line was robust with 104 receiving yards, it was fueled largely by well timed make-up catches that did their finest to steadiness the premature drops that stalled a promising opening drive after which once more at a number of essential factors within the sport.

Cooper, once more like Prescott, entered the sport with many questioning if he’d be one hundred pc after getting back from offseason ankle surgical procedure and, once more like Prescott, he proved he is simply tremendous — taking a flamethrower to the Bucs secondary with 139 passing yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches from 16 targets. 

However, the Cowboys misplaced, and it was as attributable to Lamb’s struggles because it was a missed block by tight finish Blake Jarwin that might’ve in any other case allowed Ezekiel Elliott to stroll into the tip zone late within the sport. So when you’re considering Cooper is glad along with his huge sport, you would be incorrect. 

In his thoughts, that is the ground, not the ceiling, and the ceiling is the roof. 

“A loss is at all times discouraging,” Cooper mentioned after the slender loss in Tampa. “We fought laborious. Clearly, there are some issues we might’ve cleaned up. Some issues we might’ve achieved higher. Any time you lose there’s something to be labored on. 

“We simply need to get again to the drafting board. Like Coach [McCarthy] mentioned within the postgame, ‘The one factor we all know after this sport we is that we aren’t going undefeated.’ It wasn’t all unhealthy, we did some good issues too.”

As famous by Prescott in his post-game press convention, Cooper needs each wideout within the Cowboys locker room to know the usual and their potential in what’s once more proving itself to be a dynamic offense with Prescott again beneath heart.

“Yeah, I simply stepped in when he was breaking down the receivers in the future and heard him saying that and I cherished it,” he mentioned of a coaching-up session he stumbled upon between Cooper and the youthful receivers. “Clearly, I cherished him holding them accountable — telling them that we have got to take the ball out of the air, we’re making good catches, however we have to make nice catches [and take it to another level]. 

“We’ve got a sign caller assembly just about day-after-day and I simply introduced that in there to all of the ability positions and instructed them what Amari was talking, and mentioned you might be nice and are available up brief, and I really feel like that is what tonight was — it was an amazing effort however we got here up brief and we need to be the most effective. The very best is just being higher than the opposite man day in and day trip and being the most effective within the league, and that is the expectations that now we have and people guys have, so we’re simply going to carry one another to that.”

However do not go considering Prescott has misplaced religion in a WR corps that just about produced three 1,000-yard receivers in 2020, regardless of a carousel of poor QB play following the lack of their QB1 to a season-ending harm. 

“I’ve acquired lots of belief [in them],” mentioned Prescott. “I’ve acquired lots of belief in myself making these throws, however extra importantly these guys going and making these contested catches or simply being the place they should that I can anticipate these throws and allow them to go. That is the time that we have put in from the offseason to the final couple of weeks once I’ve been in a position to get again to throwing. They’re simply gifted guys. 

“I do know they are going to create separation, and that offers me just a little little bit of consolation in simply throwing it and trusting them as properly.”

Moreover, for Cooper, it isn’t merely about holding everybody else accountable. A rabid and gifted chess participant, he is his personal harshest critic and feels he left one thing on the sphere as properly at Raymond James Stadium, which is kind of telling of the character of a person who almost reeled in 150 yards plus two visits to the tip zone in his first sport again from an ankle process.

“I really feel like I might’ve cleaned some stuff up,” mentioned the four-time Professional Bowler. “I had lots of catches, however I at all times give attention to those that did not go my approach that might’ve helped the workforce. There have been some huge performs that I left on the market, some essential performs that I left on the market that I want to wash up.”

That is an vitality that permeates a locker room, and all the opposite wideouts must do is comply with his lead. That’s in the event that they need to assist Cooper and Prescott make the gravy, as a result of it isn’t going to make itself.

Excited for the brand new Cowboys season? We’re too! Follow along on the CBS Sports app and get the newest insights from Patrik Walker, who’s on the bottom in Dallas. Plus, get the newest Dak Prescott information and far more from our workforce of consultants. If you have already got the app, you could set the Cowboys as your favourite workforce for up-to-the-second information and evaluation. | Cowboys’ Amari Cooper dominant in loss to Bucs, however needs ‘nice’ not ‘good’ catches from Dallas WRs


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