4 Cowboys on Thin Ice Coming Out of Bye Week

The Cowboys need all hands on deck for the remainder of the 2023 NFL season. That means certain players must step up and do their part.
WR Brandin Cooks is one of four Dallas Cowboys who are on thin ice coming out of the bye week.
WR Brandin Cooks is one of four Dallas Cowboys who are on thin ice coming out of the bye week. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Malik Hooker

Veteran safety Malik Hooker's third season with the Cowboys is shaping up to be his worst yet.

After allowing passer ratings of 80.8 and 82.9 in his first two seasons, Hooker is allowing a rate of 107.6 in 2023. He's surrendering a career-worst 28.9 yards per reception (compared to 11.0 in 2022) and has surrendered 202 receiving yards and two TDs through six games compared to 220 with two scores in 16 outings last year.

While Hooker's 69.3 PFF overall grade isn't putrid, it's down from last year's mark of 73.9. It's also worth noting that his defensive grade of 43.7 on 56 offensive snaps in Week 6 was second-worst on the team, only ahead of defensive lineman Sam Williams (41.2).

Sure, the Cowboys' secondary has earned the reputation of being one of the best in the league, but that won't continue to be the case if Hooker can't step up.

With the Rams boasting aerial threats like Cooper Kupp and Puca Nacua, Hooker must be on his game come Sunday. If he isn't and it's more of the same struggles, the Cowboys must consider how to remedy the situation.

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