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Film Room: Amari Cooper’s second-half touchdown jumpstarted the Cowboys against Miami

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Let’s re-examine one of the biggest plays from last week.

The Dallas Cowboys Week 3 Play of the Game came on the first drive of the second half last week against the Miami Dolphins.

With a four-point lead over Miami, the Cowboys drove quickly down the field and eventually found themselves with a second and eight situation on the Dolphins 19-yard line.

They came out in a shotgun formation with three receivers bunched to the left side. Wide receiver Amari Cooper motioned across the formation and was followed by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard. Many teams play man to bunch, and this confirmed that Miami was in man coverage.

On the snap Cooper released vertically, stemming slightly to the outside. Howard went into a backpedal, also working to the outside. This set up Cooper’s skinny post perfectly.

Cooper continued vertically, but used his leverage advantage to set up the inside pass. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw a perfect pass that Cooper caught as he crossed the goal line.

This was a great use of formation and motion to determine coverage. Put that together with an excellent pitch and catch, and you have a Cowboys touchdown and the Week 3 Play of the Game.