Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott couldn’t stop marveling at Amari Cooper’s quick twitch on Friday.
“The quick twitch,” Prescott said of his new receiver, whom Dallas traded its first-round 2019 pick to Oakland for last week. “The quick twitch and then that transition to the explosiveness he has. He’s a guy on the line, his releases, you just kind of shake your head like, ‘Dang.’
“He’s a quick-twitch guy who has a lot to offer.”
Cooper’s quick twitch, football intelligence and quick grasp of Dallas’ offense the last 11 days have impressed teammates and coaches ahead of his debut in a Dallas uniform Monday night against the Tennesee Titans. Cooper is expected to start at receiver and play most if not all snaps that include a receiver in the scheme.
Cooper joins a Dallas team that lacked a No. 1 receiving threat with nine games to play. He was inconsistent in six games with Oakland this season, catching 22 balls for 280 yards and a touchdown.
Cooper topped 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons in the league, earning Pro Bowl berths in 2015 and 2016 for his combined 2,223 receiving yards and 11 scores.
He now has under his belt a bye week working with receivers coach Sanjay Lal in California, and several practices including live team drills where he’s snagged deep balls from Prescott this week.
The result: Cowboys practice intensity has ramped up.
“It’s just positive energy,” Prescott said. “Practices getting chippy and chippy for the right reasons.”
Dallas’ defense, including lockdown cornerback Byron Jones, has allowed the third-fewest receiving yards per game in the league.
The Cowboys offense, which scored 40 points on Jacksonville in its last home outing but averages just 13.5 on the road (all losses), needed another dimension to keep up.
Cooper’s precise route-running will offer that, said longtime Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Witten will broadcast his team of 15 years for the first time Monday as ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Jori Epstein