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For this version of the Dallas Cowboys it all started on the road in Washington

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Dallas is returning to where the current iteration of their team was born.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

October 21st, 2018. That’s a day that Dallas Cowboys fans should remember for some time.

It was on that fateful day that America’s Team traveled to our nation’s capital for their annual road game against the Washington Redskins. What should be remembered about this, though? Dallas visits Washington every year. In fact, the Cowboys lost the game in question. Why would we want to commit it to memory?

One day later the Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper.

Nothing has been the same since

When the Cowboys initially sent a first-round pick in the direction of the Oakland Raiders there was a lot of backlash. People were upset that Dallas would give up such a premium draft pick (especially when it looked like that selection would be quite high), but nobody, perhaps even the Cowboys, knew what was in store over the next few months.

As you know the Cowboys found themselves on quite a roll very soon after Cooper joined the team. It’s true that they lost their first game with him on the roster to the Tennessee Titans, by the way that is still the only game that they’ve lost at home with Cooper on the team, but the very next week they began a five-game winning streak on the road at the home of the reigning Super Bowl Champions of all places.

Cowboys with Amari Cooper

Opponent Targets Receptions Yards Touchdowns Team Result
Opponent Targets Receptions Yards Touchdowns Team Result
Tennessee Titans 8 5 58 1 Loss
At Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 75 0 Win
At Atlanta Falcons 5 3 36 0 Win
Washington Redskins 9 8 180 2 Win
New Orleans Saints 8 8 76 0 Win
Philadelphia Eagles 13 10 217 3 Win
At Indianapolis Colts 7 4 32 0 Loss
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 4 20 0 Win
At New York Giants 11 5 31 0 Win
Seattle Seahawks (Wildcard) 9 7 106 0 Win
At Los Angeles Rams (Divisional) 9 6 65 1 Loss
New York Giants 9 6 106 1 Win
Total 103 72 1002 8 9-3

There’s no question that Amari Cooper is worth the price that the Cowboys paid, the team has lost only three games with him at their side (granted one of them in the playoffs). It’s hard not to wonder if the Cowboys would have been pushed to the brink of desperation just before the trade deadline in 2018 had Brett Maher not missed his kick in Washington.

What’s more is that Cooper has effectively changed the entire team’s offense, however indirectly you want to view that. Obviously the team is significantly better offensively with him as one of their 11 players, but it was the turn that Dallas made that partly inspired them to go in a new direction with Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator. Had that Washington loss and Cooper’s arrival never happened, it’s possible that we are all sitting here today with a different head coach, whatever offensive coordinator they preferred, and an entirely different assembly of offensive talent.

We’re just one game in to the 2019 season so nobody is ready to say this season’s Cowboys are the greatest to ever live, but the first week was promising. If you asked anybody if they’d be willing to part with the trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb they’d likely fight you to avoid doing so.

Dallas wore navy during their loss at Washington last year and they’ll do so again this Sunday. While things might look the same visually it’s incredible to consider just how much what’s behind those uniforms has been altered.

The Cowboys are returning to the scene of the crime this week. Thankfully, they’ve conceivably addressed the issues and are ready to pick up where they left off.