Cowboys WR Brandin Cooks: ‘It’s time to get back’ to 1,000-yard seasons after down year - Kevin Patra, NFL.com
There’s no hiding what Brandin Cooks hopes to accomplish in 2023.
“It’s time to get back,” Cooks told NFL Network’s Maurice Jones-Drew and Patrick Claybon on Thursday’s NFL Total Access. “A lot has to come with that. At the end of the day, like I said earlier, we’ve got some special guys throughout the offense, all the offensive weapons we have, I’m just going to do my best to the best of my ability, and when we look up at the end of the season, we’ll see where we’re at.”
During a tumultuous season in Houston, where Cooks struggled with spending another year in a perpetual rebuild, the wideout posted 699 yards with three touchdowns on 57 catches in 13 games. That performance came after back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard campaigns with the Texans.
Cooks’ down 2022 included a trade request out of Houston, and the wideout said Thursday he was “pretty close” to landing in Dallas last season. This year, the Cowboys got the deal done to bring in the field-stretcher who should help open up the offense for Dak Prescott.
Cooks adds a needed element to the offense alongside star CeeDee Lamb.
“I think just going into Year 10, being able to have special receivers around me like CeeDee, M.G. (Michael Gallup) and J.T. (Jalen Tolbert), not only from a production role that I’m expecting but also from a role of being able to lead,” he said. “So I think that’s what I’m looking to bring. So obviously, I want to get back to winning, and however that looks, I’m willing to do it.”
The ‘sauce’ is back in the NFC East, this time with New York.
Cole Beasley has bounced in and out of the NFL in the last couple of years. But at 34, the Dallas-area native and former Cowboys standout believes there is plenty of “bounce” left … and he’s now signing with the New York Giants in an attempt to prove just that.
Beasley was recently training with current Buffalo Bills buddies Gabe Davis and Matt Milano in preparation for what Beasley said was a July 21 tryout with an NFL team.
Last season, Beasley, was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a short time, a stint sandwiched in between two turns with the Bills. At the end of last season, he was back in the NFL and had signed with the Bills. The slot receiver played in just two games for the Josh Allen-led Bills, totaling two receptions for 18 yards.
Money Maher has finally landed with a team and his former head coach, Sean Payton.
Maher worked out for the Broncos earlier this offseason and was viewed as the favorite for the team’s vacant kicking job, but they ended up signing kicker Elliott Fry instead. Since then, it was been speculated that the Broncos would still add to their kick position this offseason and they have done just that a few days before the start of training camp.
The Broncos’ new kicker last kicked for the Dallas Cowboys last season and was fairly automatic for them until he had a meltdown during the postseason. He made 29 of 32 kicks (90.6%), was 9 of 9 from 20-29 yards, 5 of 5 from 30 to 39 yards, 6 of 7 from 40 to 49 yards, and an impressive 9 of 11 from 50+ yards. His longest kick was a 60-yarder he kicked against Minnesota in their 40-3 victory over the Vikings.
As for extra points, Maher made 50 of 53 kicks during the regular season but suffered the yips during the postseason. He only made 1 out of 6 extra point attempts during the postseason but made both of his field goal attempts. This poor showing is why he did not return to the Cowboys and is currently a free agent. However, it appears he will be reuniting with Sean Payton in Denver if he does well during this workout.
Speaking of the kicker position with the Dallas Cowboys...
How He Got Here: A former soccer star at nearby Plano High School and at Notre Dame, Aubrey was drafted in the first round of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Draft in 2017 as an elite defender. However, by the end of 2018, Aubrey was out of the MLS and out of soccer with his eyes set on becoming a placekicker in the NFL. Four years passed before Aubrey got his opportunity with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL in 2022. Aubrey played two seasons with the Stallions and was one of the league’s top placekickers, earning all-USFL honors in 2022 and converting on 48-of-49 of his kicks in 2023 (14-for-15 FG, 35-for-35 PATs). Dallas subsequently signed Aubrey as the second kicker on the roster on July 6.
What’s Next: The post-Brett Maher era in Dallas has drawn a lot of questions as to how Dallas will attack the upcoming kicker situation, and despite veteran options such as Robbie Gould and Mason Crosby being available, the Cowboys saw Brandon Aubrey as the best competition for Tristan Vizcaino in the preseason. The starting kicker job will most likely come down to one of those two options with each getting a chance to be the guy in training camp. If Aubrey wins out, he will be the second former USFL star to make his way onto the Dallas roster, joining Kavontae Turpin who cemented himself as the lead kick returner in training camp last season after winning the 2022 USFL MVP.
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