Dallas Cowboys

Crucial, tone-setting drop mars record day for Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper

Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper had 11 catches for a career-high 226 yards and a touchdown in the 34-24 loss against the Green Bay Packers Sunday.

His spinning 53-yard reception in the fourth quarter is easily one of the top plays of the season for anyone in the NFL.

He broke a tackle after making the catch and then did a 360 spin to avoid another tackle the goal line to bring the Cowboys to within 34-24 with 7:46 left in the game.

It would prove not to be too big a hill for the Cowboys to climb over going down 17-0 at halftime and 31-3 in the third quarter in game that likely turned on a dropped pass by Cooper that turned into an interception in the first quarter.

It had Cooper in a sour mood after the game with no interest in talking about his record-setting performance.

“The only thing that’s really on my mind is the dropped ball and the turnover it created,” Cooper said. “I feel like it gave them a lot of momentum in the game. I feel like I had it. It was an easy catch, took my eyes off it because I was focused on the touchdown. I dropped it. I created a turnover.”

Cooper said his record day was actually spurred on by his motivation to make amends for the early drop.

It was the third 200-yard receiving game of his career, and the first since he had 217 yards _ second most of his career _ against Philadelphia last season (12/9/18).

Cooper now has two 200-yard receiving games as a Cowboy, the only player in team history with multiple 200-yard receiving games.

“I just tried my best on every play after that to do the best for my team,” Cooper said.

Quarterback Dak Prescott had a career-high 463 yards passing against the Packers. But like Cooper, he said what mattered most were his three interceptions and the loss.

“Amari saying that I think is an example of guys in the locker room, a lot of guys on our team look in the mirror before they point fingers,” Prescott said. As long as we have those type of guys on our team, we’re going to be fine. We’re going to keep getting better, we’re going to be able to take things like this on the chin, learn from them and get better because of that—simply because that attitude.”

Prescott liked Cooper’s attitude and response following the drop of a catchable pass that was slightly behind him.

“I could’ve put the ball two more inches in front of him,” Prescott said. That’s a great player. Sure he had that drop but you go back and look at the rest of the game, the plays he’s making, the catches he’s making, catches that double move and makes two guys miss on the sideline. You tell him: Let it go. Let it go so he can come back and do what he just did. We have those type of players that we’re not going to sit there and hound on one mistake because we know they’re very prideful on that and they’re going to look in the mirror and blame themselves first before they say, ‘Hey Dak threw that a little behind me.’ Simply that right there: Tap him on the back and say put it behind you, like he did.”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.