The Dallas Cowboys must feed Amari Cooper in finale

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

If the Dallas Cowboys accomplish anything this final, mostly meaningless, week of the season, it needs to be force-feeding the ball to Amari Cooper. Cooper, the Cowboys WR1 by just about any measurement, has become discontent as of late. Disgruntled, even.

Seeing different elite receivers around the league posting big numbers week after week, has no-doubt taken a toll on the seven-year pro out of Alabama. And this nine week offensive slump the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in isn’t making things any easier to digest for the man they call “Coop.”

Reviewing the game film over the past month it’s plain to see, Amari Cooper is getting open downfield. While the narrative revolves around defenses “figuring out” the Cowboys and beating them with Shells/2-deep/Quarters, the reality is the Cowboys receivers have created separation just fine against these coverages.

What’s really been crippling this offense is the pressure allowed by simple four-man pass rushes and Dak Prescott‘s time in the pocket. The inept running game isn’t helping matters, neither is Kellen Moore‘s seemingly transparent attack. And if we’re all being honest, Dak has passed up a ton of big plays down field for shorter “safer” shots to his TE and RBs.

It’s understandable Amari Cooper is getting mad.

The problem is, Amari is letting that anger and frustration disrupt his game. Amari’s effort has been in noticeable decline. He’s not finishing routes and he’s merely going through the motions as a blocker. While this immature response is inexcusable for an adult, it’s somewhat understandable.

The good news is, it’s easily correctable.

The Dallas Cowboys could break Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott out of their funk if they just force-feed the ball.

Dak is gun-shy and it’s clear. Why exactly, isn’t quite so clear. But regardless of why, when Dak’s dealing with a free play he doesn’t hesitate to be aggressive. He slings it downfield and usually comes away with a positive result. Perhaps he sees the margins as too slim to put the ball at risk. I’m just not sure.

But the point is, when Dak wants to, he can throw it downfield and do so accurately, timely, and successfully. That’s why Kellen Moore needs to force the issue with Amari. Getting Amari involved early and often keeps his resentment at bay. Better yet, it shows Dak that the reward outweighs the risk and that’s something he needs to know heading into the postseason.

Maybe there are mistakes along the way. Maybe Dak throws and interception or two and puts the game at risk. So what? The Dallas can’t win in the postseason with their offense playing like it has through most of the last two months. They need a jumpstart. What better time than a meaningless game such as this?

I know, getting Amari over 100 yards and getting Dak focused downfield is easier said than done, but without the burden of playing a “must-win” game, this is a good time to try things and narrow the focus.

Kellen should save the trick plays, the deception, and his back-pocket schemes for the playoffs still. No one’s asking him to empty the play-book here. In fact, we’re asking for it to be simplified. If Kellen can just focus on building some complementary route combinations downfield (something that’s been an issue) and getting the ball to Amari, everything else should fall in line.

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5 Cowboys playing their last regular season game for Dallas. dark. Next

If the Dallas Cowboys aren’t going to use this last week as a chance to rest, they better get something out of it special. A (mostly) meaningless game is a great time to do things they wouldn’t normally do and a prefect time to shake up this stagnant offense. That starts with getting Amari Cooper involved.

  • Published on 01/08/2022 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 01/07/2022 at 15:56 PM