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Cowboys news: Amari Cooper has MRI on knee, says injury is ‘manageable’ & won’t keep him out on Sunday

Amari Cooper is a little banged up but he plans to go on SNF.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Amari Cooper: Knee Injury Is “Manageable”- Dave Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper didn’t have much to say about his knee injury, but it doesn’t sound like something that will keep him out of action.

Adding a knee injury to the mix could be problematic, though Cooper said he wanted to see how he felt Friday before he tried to weigh in on it.

“It’s not really a question that I can answer right now until I start back practicing,” he said.

The goal is for Cooper to practice Friday, and multiple team officials have expressed optimism that he’ll be available on Sunday night against Minnesota. Cooper himself said he didn’t think the issue would hold him out completely.

Just how healthy he’ll be is something he’ll sort out in the coming days. For the time being, he’s doing what he can.

“I mean, I want to play, you know what I’m saying, to be able to put up numbers to help my team win,” he said. “Whatever I’ve got to do to do that, I’m cool with it.”

After MRI on knee, Cowboys WR Amari Cooper intends to play vs. Vikings -David Moore, ,SportsDayDFW
After missing Thursday's practice, Amari Cooper will practice Friday and intends to play against Minnesota this weekend.

The Cowboys’ leading receiver didn’t practice Thursday and met with a team doctor to discuss the results of an MRI taken the previous day. Cooper was told he has a left knee contusion, a source said.

Cooper was vague when discussing the injury with reporters, saying the language the doctor used “is kinda confusing.” When pressed about the injury, Cooper replied, “I forgot what he said, to be honest. I just want to know if it was good or bad or whatever.”

Cooper added that he will see what he can do in Friday’s practice and go from there.

“This is something that is very manageable,” the receiver said.

Could this injury keep him out of the game against the Vikings?

“Nah,” Cooper said.

NFL Playoff Tracker: Cowboys remain on track for playoffs and division title - OCC, Blogging The Boys
The chances of making the postseason look good for the 5-3 Cowboys.

Overall, the Cowboys remain on schedule for a playoff berth, even if technical reasons mean the odds have not improved quite as much as we might have anticipated.

But simply making the playoffs may not be such a stretching target. It may be premature for a team that has had some up and down performances, but perhaps the Cowboys should be setting their sights for the No. 1 or No. 2 seed (and the homefield advantage that comes with the seeding). Right now, they look to be pretty far away from either seed, as that would mean beating out two of the current three division leaders down the stretch: the 49ers (8-0), the Saints (7-1), and the Packers (7-2). And that’s not even figuring in the Seahawks (7-2) or Vikings (6-3).

The odds of a bye seem slim right now. FO have the Cowboys with a 5.3% chance at the No. 2 seed, and a 0.8% chance at the No. 1 seed. 538 puts the chances of getting a first-round bye at 3%, the NYT at 2%.

NFL Playoff Projection: Will Cowboys be able to hold the NFC East lead when schedule gets brutal- Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports
Will the Cowboys lead in the NFC East remain intact?

Here’s another look at the Cowboys’ upcoming schedule through what should be an enormous showdown in Philadelphia on Dec. 22:

Week 10, vs. Vikings

Week 11, at Lions

Week 12, at Patriots

Week 13, vs. Bills

Week 14, at Bears

Week 15, vs. Rams

Week 16, at Eagles

There’s not an easy win in those next seven games. And yes, that crucial NFC East rematch is in Philadelphia. The Cowboys were better than the Eagles over the first half of the season, and might be the better team over the second half too. But it will take a huge effort to maintain their lead in the division with that gauntlet of games. That’s why the Eagles have a slight edge in the projection.

The battle for NFC wild-card spots will be intense too, and the result of this week’s Vikings-Cowboys game has plenty of potential implications in that race.

Jets wanted Cowboys G Zack Martin to be part of a deal for Jamal Adams, Martin is ‘happy they didn’t entertain it’- Calvin Watkins, SportsDayDFW
When the Jets wanted Zack Martin in exchange for Jamal Adams, the Cowboys left a dial tone.

When NFL Network reported last month the Jets wanted Cowboys All-Pro guard Zack Martin as part of a Jamal Adams trade, it didn’t go unnoticed by a certain offensive lineman.

“Happy they didn’t entertain it,” Martin said Wednesday. “But I try not to look too much into that kinda stuff. A lot of that stuff is news for fans just to look at. I don’t get caught up in that.”

The Cowboys offered a first-round pick along with a mid-round selection for Adams, the Pro Bowl safety but were rebuffed by the Jets.

The Cowboys were looking to upgrade the safety position at the trade deadline when discussions occurred for Adams. It appears, at least on the surface, the Jets wanted a huge package for Adams and that’s understandable.

A closer look at DE Michael Bennett's debut spells good things for Cowboys defense - Bryan Broaddus & Rob Phillips,
How do you like the versatility of Michael Bennett, especially playing inside?

Bryan: I just like Michael Bennett the player. Once again, tip your cap to the front office for making this happen. They identified a need and worked hard to address it. So far so good. He’s an outstanding fit for what they need from him.

Rob: If the Giants game is any indication, the defense has a chance to reach a new level with Bennett part of the rotation. You’ve got a couple really good speed rushers in Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence. Now you’ve added a third who not only can spell them on the edge but play next to them inside. That’s a critical piece in an area that needed depth after Tyrone Crawford’s injury.

Jason Garrett discusses the team’s penalty problem and what he said to the team about it -Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys need to limit the penalties and Garrett has made mention of it.

Addressing penalties and mistakes

Jason Garrett distinguished between penalties in the run of play and penalties that happen after the whistle. He said the team has too many of the latter and that they addressed it with the team, saying they need to channel their emotions and focus, and not take the bait from the other team.

What’d They Say: Cowboys HC Jason Garrett Recalls Early Dallas Days with Mike Zimmer - Lindsey
Jason Garrett speaks fondly of his time learning defenses from Mike Zimmer as a backup quarterback in the 90's.

“I remember him being a really, really good coach and someone who the players really responded to and played really well under,” Garrett told Twin Cities media members this week via conference call. “I remember talking to Zim’ a lot about offensive football, defensive football, philosophies of how you defend things, and he was always so gracious with me.

“He made a really positive impact on our team here and a really positive impact on the guys,” Garrett added. “I think everybody knew right from the start that he was a hell of a football coach.”

Agent's Take: Dak Prescott among six contract-year players who are setting themselves up for a big payoff -Joel Corry-
The more Dak Prescott shines each week, the bigger his future paycheck is getting for the Cowboys.

Financial Benchmark: Jared Goff ($33.5 million avg./$110,042,682 in guarantees)

Probability: $$$$

There was an overreaction to Prescott playing the best game of his career in a 35-17 season-opening victory over the Giants, which earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. That single game didn’t materially increase Prescott’s leverage any more than Jared Goff’s horrendous play for the Rams when the most was at stake in Super Bowl LIII kept him from getting top quarterback money right before the regular season started.

Prescott is having the best season of his four-year NFL career. He is on pace for his first 4,000 yard passing season. Prescott has never thrown more than 23 touchdown passes in a season. He is on track for 30. Prescott’s 69.6 completion percentage is a career high and the league’s fifth best mark. His 102.5 passer rating, which is eighth in the NFL, is his highest since he was a rookie in 2016.

Ezekiel Elliott admits to not being NFL’s best back in 2019, for now - Tony Thompson-CowboysWire
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott says he's not the best running back in the league right now.

“I think there’s been running backs that have played better than me this year. … I don’t think it bothers me. It kind of adds a little fuel to the fire. I’ve got some more work to do. That’s all.”

Elliott still remains firmly in the conversation that surrounds the best of the best at his position but has perhaps fallen behind some of his contemporaries halfway through the season. He is currently averaging 92.6 yards per game on the ground which ranks fourth in the NFL.

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