The Cowboys were sitting at 3-4 last season, coming off a road loss to the Washington Redskins. Dallas had scored just eight points versus the Panthers, 13 against the Seahawks, and 16 in an overtime loss to the Texans. The offense had been sputtering and the season looked bleak at that point in time.
Many questioned the future of Jason Garrett at the helm and what to do with Dak Prescott.
Then, the Cowboys made a major splash (one that many criticized at the time): making a move for Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Cowboys believed in Cooper enough to send a first-round draft pick in exchange for a young wideout oozing potential but that had struggled with consistency.
Since that trade, the Dallas Cowboys’ offense has reached new levels. Dak Prescott has played like one of the best quarterbacks in football when no. 19 is lined out wide. The Cowboys were able to turn around a struggling season into its second NFC East title in the Dak era, a playoff win, and a berth in the Divisional Round.
This season, the offense has been one of the elite units in all of football, despite some less than ideal games mixed in between. The offense is moving the football, Dak Prescott is pushing the ball down the field, and the Cowboys are having success putting pressure on opposing defenses.
Visual of the above and Dak's great season so far pic.twitter.com/HhFRVb1ami— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) October 23, 2019
Dak is playing like an elite, franchise-caliber quarterback this season. Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna have done wonders with Prescott, and Amari Cooper has been huge in the growth of the fourth-year quarterback as well.
Since the Cowboys traded for the former Alabama first-round pick, Cooper has been playing like one of the elite wide receivers in football. His route-running and ability to stretch the field have taken this offense to a completely different level. Check out these completely ridiculous numbers:
One year ago, the 3-4 Cowboys traded a first-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper.— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 23, 2019
The deal was widely ridiculed.
Coop since then:
◽️ 18 games
◽️ 104 catches
◽️ 1,517 yards
◽️ 12 TD
◽️ 12-6 record (1-1 playoffs) pic.twitter.com/OydgFMT9TQ
After the news broke of the Cowboys trading for Coop, yours truly wrote a piece on how the move showed that the franchise was all-in on Dak Prescott being its quarterback. If the production the two have had since the move is any indication, the move was definitely worth it.
The third reason why the Dallas Cowboys made the decision to acquire the two-time Pro Bowl receiver is because of their desire to give their quarterback every possible chance to succeed. Dak Prescott has had his fair share of very high highs and very low lows. Nobody understands him better than those within the organization. Whatever your feelings are on Prescott, he is the unquestioned starting quarterback on this team and is well-respected within his own locker room.
It is easy to see how productive the two are on the field, but the numbers really show just how special both Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper have been so far in 2019:
Dak Prescott's receivers have 19 drops this season, per @PFF, T-most in the NFL— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 21, 2019
Adjusting @dak's receivers' drop rate (10%) for league average (7%), Prescott's completion percentage above expectation increases from an already league-leading +8.1% to +11.0%#DallasCowboys https://t.co/5MEogGeIgT
#Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in 2019:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 23, 2019
1st in QBR
1st in Air Yards
3rd in YPA
3rd in Completion %
5th in AY/A
5th in ANY/A
7th in Passer Rating
Dak's 1st half has pushed him ahead of Russell Wilson in No. 1 in Next Gen Stats' Completion +/-.— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) October 21, 2019
Dak is now No. 1 in both Completion +/- and QBR https://t.co/W1uiAjomVH
The Dallas #Cowboys are the only team in the NFL with a player in the top 5 in passing, rushing, and receiving yards.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) October 24, 2019
Ezekiel Elliott - 602 rush yds (#5 in the NFL)
Dak Prescott - 2,123 pass yds (#3 in the NFL)
Amari Cooper - 621 rec yds (#3 in the NFL) pic.twitter.com/ZUDg0nShwj
One of Dak’s biggest criticisms coming into this season was the lack of deep throws and stretching the field. It can be debated on if that was a quarterback problem or play-calling problem but whatever the case, Prescott is making sure he takes shots down the field this season.
Dak is only behind Patrick Mahomes (by just nine yards, too) when it comes to deep passing yards, according to Pro Football Focus’ data:
The league leaders in deep passing yards (throws targeted 20+ yards) before MNF:— PFF (@PFF) October 21, 2019
1. Patrick Mahomes: 685
2. Dak Prescott: 676
3. Russell Wilson: 672
4. Deshaun Watson: 593
5. Aaron Rodgers: 585
Meanwhile, Cooper leads the entire NFL in receiving yards on deep targets:
The most receiving yards on deep targets (20+ yards):— PFF (@PFF) October 22, 2019
1️⃣Amari Cooper: 344
2️⃣Stefon Diggs: 332
3️⃣D.J. Chark Jr.: 323
4️⃣Tyler Lockett: 234
5️⃣Kenny Stills: 229
Cooper recently said that things have just clicked with Prescott since arriving in Dallas, comparing their connection to that of ketchup and a burger. Cowboys fans are certainly hoping there a lot more burgers with lots of ketchup made this season and beyond.
“I can’t really explain it,” Cooper said. “I got here and we were just able to click, and I think his game matches my game well, and sometimes it’s just like that. It’s like, I don’t know if this is a good analogy or not, [but] it’s like when you put certain foods together. Like if you put ketchup on a burger, it just tastes good together. That’s how I would describe it.”
Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper have established themselves as on the most deadly duos in all of football. With Kellen Moore calling the plays, Dak Prescott playing like a potential MVP as the face of the most popular sports franchise in the world, and Amari Cooper realizing his potential, the sky is the limit.
AMARI COOPER SZN IS HERE pic.twitter.com/6jW4G9SP9f— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) November 22, 2018
Amari Cooper sends Rasul Douglas to another world with his patented sluggo.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) October 21, 2019
my god, amari pic.twitter.com/5lNrOmoiTT
Worth a first, I would say.