Giving out a game ball after the Cowboys got embarrassed by the Washington Football team, 41-16, seems almost like a participation trophy. Yet there is something to recognizing players who still bring their A-game, even in defeat. There was one Cowboys player who was ready for action on Thursday instead of being sleepy from turkey. That player was Amari Cooper.
Cooper led the Cowboys with six catches for 112 yards and one touchdown. That lone touchdown was a thing of beauty as he cooked the Washington defender on a 54-yard bomb from Andy Dalton.
Dalton targeted Cooper eight times on the day and the receiver hauled in six of them. Excluding the quarterback, Cooper was the only Cowboys player to go over 100 yards of production on the day and the next closest Cowboys player was a very distant second (Michael Gallup, 41 yards). Cooper also drew a 28-yard pass interference penalty that doesn't show up in his stats yet led to a Cowboys field goal right before halftime. Essentially, Cooper was the Cowboys only real weapon on the day.
This continues a strong season for the veteran receiver. He leads that Cowboys in targets (98), catches (71), receiving yards (848) and has three touchdowns on the year. He also has a healthy 72.4% catch rate and is second in yards from scrimmage (859), only trailing Ezekiel Elliott (963).
Cooper has been remarkably consistent this year with only two real clunker games out of the 11 played, with one of those being the Ben DiNucci Eagles game.
Thursday was a disaster, but Cooper continues to show his worth.