The Dallas Cowboys plan for an expanded role for receiver Amari Cooper against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in what will be his second game with the team after coming over in a bye week trade Oct. 22.
After just five practices, he had a smooth five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in last Monday’s 28-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. It what was the best debut offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has ever seen for a guy who was added in midseason.
And it has him encouraged and excited about adding more to his arsenal against the Eagles.
“It was a great start incorporating him into our offense and we are looking forward to building off of that,” Linehan said. “I think more, sure. I think the role is really specific. He starts the game at one of the outside positions. The next play he plays in the slot. We moved him around. He handled it great. He has done it. You can see it’s not too much for him. He is a bright guy. He is a pro. He has the experience and the know-how. I think he can handle more.”
Cooper is ready for more because he is more comfortable in the offense heading into his second game than he was last week. He understands things a lot more.
His focus is getting the small details down with quarterback Dak Prescott and on things they didn’t connect on last week.
“I’ve always been the type of player that if there was one incompletion thrown my way, what could I have done to complete the ball or actually make it work,” Cooper said. “There are definitely some things we can do to clean it up.”
Those are the traits that attract the Cowboys to Cooper as much as his athleticism, making them feel even better about giving up a first-round pick to acquire him.
They still remained awed by his natural physical gifts as a big, fast receiver who capable is making a big play from anywhere on the field.
“He never ceases to show the explosiveness and the ability to use the combination of his speed and quickness,” Linehan said. “He is a tough cover for guys. He is a bigger receiver. He is really a bigger guy but he plays like one of those light speed guys. It’s fun. It’s great having him on the team. I think he can continue to build off the first game with us as we move forward.”
The Cowboys’ unbridled enthusiasm about his potential has him cast as the savior of the team’s fledgling pass offense. But Cooper said he feels no pressure because he doesn’t believe he can be covered.
“I just feel like I know what I can do on the field,” Cooper said. “It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it. I know what my strengths are. I work on my weaknesses. I don’t believe anybody can stop me from getting open and all of it. So I don’t feel any pressure about it.”