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Cowboys news: Amari Cooper practicing Wednesday

Plus, what’s up with Randy Gregory’s knee?

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ Amari Cooper: Set to practice Wednesday - RotoWire Staff, CBS Sports
Newly acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper had been in concussion protocol with the Raiders, but it seems he is healthy now and back on track.

Cooper (concussion) reported to the Cowboys on Tuesday and is scheduled to practice with the team Wednesday and Thursday this week, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.

Report: Amari Cooper wanted out of Oakland - Levi Damien, Silver And Black Pride
Looks like Amari Cooper was part of a larger exodus in Oakland.

Players have begun finding their way out of Oakland and the team is doing their best to oblige.

It turns out Cooper wanted to be traded, according to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.

Coop shares an agent with Khalil Mack. The thinking is that Joel Segal and Cooper saw the writing on the wall that the former Pro Bowl receiver would suffer the same fate as Mack when it came time to get an extension. That along with the crumbled morale of the locker room and the clear and present signs of a major rebuild meant the 24-year-old wanted out.

Like fleeing a sinking ship.

Jason Garrett press conference: Amari Cooper is “like a draft pick” - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
Most of the criticism of the Amari Cooper trade centered around giving away a first-round pick for him, but Jason Garrett sees it a different way.

The Cowboys gave up a first-round pick in order to acquire Amari Cooper and Jason Garrett discussed Cooper being just 24 years old and said that he has all of the physical traits you want as well as the intangible character qualities. He specifically said “this guy is like a draft pick” when referencing whether or not the Cowboys would be able to get a player of this quality come draft time. Many have said that the Cowboys might not be able to which is why they were fine giving up a first-round pick to begin with. It’s worth noting that Jason Garrett also said that they believe Amari Cooper will be in Dallas for a long time.

Instant takeaways from the Cowboys' trade for Amari Cooper - Connor Price, Pro Football Focus
Price explains how the Cooper trade is an indictment of the current WR corps in Dallas.

Through seven games, the Dallas passing game is led by Beasley with 33 receptions and 350 receiving yards (35th among wide receivers). Behind Beasley is star running back Ezekiel Elliott with 25 receptions and tight end Geoff Swaim with 19. Look down the list, and you don’t see another receiver until you reach Allen Hurns with 13 receptions.

The need for a receiver is evident for a Cowboys team who has had a double-digit receiving touchdown scorer just once in the last three seasons.

Although the Cowboys are a run-first team with Zeke at the helm, the targets will be there for Cooper in a Dallas offense that has been in limbo this season without a true number-one receiver. The 2015 first-round pick has a change of scenery and is expected to be the primary pass-catcher in Dallas moving forward. The Week 8 bye comes at the right time, as the Dak Prescott-to-Cooper connection will have two weeks to mesh before the Cowboys play the Tennessee Titans home in Week 9.

Cowboys can solve Amari Cooper’s up-and-down play - Pro Football Focus
PFF offers some insight on how the Raiders used Cooper, and wht the Cowboys could learn from that.

New Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has 19 games in his four-year, 52-game career where he has 30 or fewer receiving yards. Though drops have played a role, the root cause lies in his usage, as he averaged just 4.15 targets per game in the 19 poor performances as opposed to a 9.1 target average (more than double) in the other 33 games.

In Cooper’s career-best season (2016), he was targeted on a career-high 24.6 percent of his routes run. Dallas would be smart to target their newest wideout moving forward.

Colin Cowherd explains trade for WR Amari Cooper - The Herd

Cowboys injury update: TE Geoff Swaim could miss some time; DE Randy Gregory had knee surgery Tuesday - Brandon George, SportsDay
Swaim and Gregory are using the bye week to get healthy.

Swaim won't practice during the bye week, coach Jason Garrett said, and was undergoing an MRI test Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.

“Hopefully it bears itself out where it’s shorter rather than longer,” Garrett said.

Defensive end Randy Gregory underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on his injured knee that's plagued him the last few weeks. The Cowboys have had the surgery planned for the bye for a few weeks now. Gregory won't practice this week, and the Cowboys are hopeful he'll be ready to play Nov. 5 against Tennessee.

More Injury Updates - Rob Phillips,
Swaim and Gregory aren't the only injured players.

The Cowboys have two practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week. Swaim isn’t expected to participate. Neither is starting right guard Zack Martin, who also sprained his knee against Washington but was able to play through it in the second half.

Cornerback C.J. Goodwin is expected to have surgery for an arm fracture he suffered in the game.

Bonding time for Dak and Amari in the bye - @ClarenceHillJr
With Cooper joining the team heading into the bye week, Dak is going to use the extra time to get to know his new target.

Jason Garrett = Dallas' biggest problem? - Adam Schein,
Is Jason Garrett the Cowboys' biggest problem? Schein tries to separate fact from fiction.

Yes, Dak Prescott's staggering lack of awareness on his own goal-line -- leading to a gargantuan strip-sack touchdown for the Redskins -- was dreadful. And yes, the long snapper cannot move the ball on a 47-yard field goal. The call was right; a 5-yard penalty was justified. And yes, of course the ensuing 52-yard kick that doinked the upright would've been good from 47. But the most insulting aspect of this game for Cowboys faithful came in between those developments.

With the Redskins holding a 20-17 lead and trying to kill off the clock, Alex Smith made the baffling decision to run out of bounds, thus allowing the Cowboys to save their final timeout and get the ball back with over a minute remaining. A gift to Dallas -- a gift that Garrett wasted with extreme conservatism. Per usual.

Just two weeks after Garrett opted for an overtime punt on fourth-and-1 in plus territory -- leading to a Texans win and a Jerry Jones second-guessing -- the Cowboys coach again turtled in crunch time.

With 52 seconds left, Dallas had the ball at the Redskins' 46-yard line with one timeout remaining. So, how did the 'Boys attack this situation? Two short passes over the middle and a 2-yard draw by Ezekiel Elliott before the ill-fated deep field goal attempt. Wait, what? This was disastrous game management. At the very least, when it got to first-and-10 at the Washington 31 -- with the timeout still in hand -- Dallas should've taken a shot. Tony Romo plainly laid out why it was the no-brainer move from the CBS booth! But no: Garrett went conservative and was flat-out wrong. Again.

Vintage Garrett, dropping the Cowboys to 3-4.

Jerry Jones won’t let numbers lie much longer. Here's what's at stake for Jason Garrett after Amari Cooper trade - Tom Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Head coach Jason Garrett got a new toy for the Cowboys offense and a firm deadline for his need to return to the playoffs, writes Cowlishaw.

Eight is enough, when it comes to years or, in Garrett's case, full seasons as head coach. He's not getting bounced at midseason the way Wade Phillips did in 2010 when Garrett was promoted to take over a 1-7 team, but the shocking trade for Oakland's Amari Cooper sent a message loud and clear from owner Jerry Jones' office to Garrett's.

You say our problem is receivers? Here's the fourth pick in the 2015 draft. Now go win the East.

I doubt that the message was conveyed in so many words, but it doesn't have to be.

The owner has done right by the coach by overpaying for the best available receiver. It's time for the coach to do right by the owner in the season's final nine weeks.

John DeFilippo, Kris Richard among coaching names to watch - Tom Pelissero,
Who will be the next hot coaching star in the NFL? Pelissero runs down a list of some names to watch, and if the Cowboys are looking for a change, they may not have to look far.

Cowboys passing game coordinator/DBs coach Kris Richard: Part of the exodus from Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle after last season, Richard, 38, quickly won fans in Dallas -- including veteran DC Rod Marinelli, who handed over play-calling duties. He's a good leader with a strong defensive mind and has benefited from his time around Marinelli. Personnel isn't Richard's strength, so he'd need to be in the right place with the right GM. The Bills and Colts interviewed him in the past two cycles, respectively.

Josh McDaniels, Sean Payton head coach odds - Peter Dawson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys has best odds of NFL head coaches to be fired first. Oddsmakers say owner Jerry Jones could then hire Josh McDaniels or Sean Payton and others in 2019.

Patriots offensive coordinator ranks first at +250. McDaniels reneged on a verbal commitment to coach the Indianapolis Colts in favor of returning to New England this past offseason.

Saints head coach Sean Payton has the second-best odds to be the Cowboys’ head coach next season at +300. There’s been rumors that other teams have flirted with Payton, but he did sign a five-year contract extension reportedly worth north of $40 million in March of 2016.

Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has the third-highest odds of landing the Cowboys head coaching gig next season at +600. He has just two seasons of experience in that role and this is his first year in Minnesota.

In terms of in-house candidates, Garrett has the fourth-best odds of filling the role he currently owns at +600. Defensive backs coach Kris Richard is tied for the seventh-best odds with a long list of candidates at +2000.

You can see the full list at

Pat Shurmur — Eli Manning will continue as Giants’ quarterback - Big Blue View
The Giants are tanking the season, though no one in the league wants to talk about it. The Giants are now 4-18 with Manning at quarterback since the start of last season. Letting Manning continue to play, and trading away Eli Apple is the right thing to do if you want to keep losing.

History is not kind to the Eagles’ playoff hopes - Michael Kist, Bleeding Green Nation
The Eagles find themselves in the same 3-4 predicament the Cowboys are in.

At 3-4 the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles now stand upon the brink of a precipice. As they look into the abyss, they see a history that is not so kind to their future prospects. Not many teams with this same sub-.500 start have been able to pull themselves back from the edge.

Simple math will tell you the obvious; the 2018 Eagles need a big run while also needing the rest of the NFC East to falter. The second part is key with five divisional games remaining. Those games will likely determine the Eagles fate.

Before that, the Eagles will have to take care of business against the 3-4 Jacksonville Jaguars in London. If they lose, their playoff odds reduce to 8%, while a win would spike them to 32%. Again, simple math: that’s a massive 24% swing.

As NFC East implodes, do the Redskins suddenly have the surest footing? - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post
The Post surveys the NFC East, and wonders whether the Redskins can hold off the Cowboys and Eagles.

Dallas just gave up a first-round draft pick for a wide receiver, an indication the Cowboys believe the NFC East is winnable — now. The Philadelphia Eagles can’t protect their quarterback or cover receivers downfield. The New York Giants . . . ugh, man, the New York Giants. That’s a burgeoning disaster.

One more reason this Giants game is important for Washington: By the time the next NFC East opponent arrives on the schedule, it’ll be Thanksgiving — at Dallas in Week 12. Washington closes the schedule with four division games in the final six weeks.

Might Cooper be clicking with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott by then? Might the Eagles — still Super Bowl champs, you may recall — have sorted out their issues by the time Washington plays them twice in December?

Either way, the most important game on Washington’s schedule is the next one, because it represents a chance to get this team to a position it hasn’t enjoyed — in a season or in the division — for a long time.

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