Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott backed teammate Amari Cooper as the receiver is sidelined for at least two games after testing positive for COVID-19. As an unvaccinated player, Cooper faces more stringent guidelines to return to the field, but Prescott expressed unwavering support for the Cowboys star receiver. After the Cowboys’ loss to the Chiefs, Prescott referred to Cooper as “my teammate…my brother” when asked for his response to Cooper missing games.
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate not having him [Cooper] but to [criticize] the decision he made, I mean, me [being] vaccinated I can get it and be out two games,” Prescott said of Cooper’s absence during his November 21 press conference. “So, let’s not try to knock the guy or put the guy down for a personal decision. …I pretty much would [be out], I don’t know if there’s anybody that comes back under 10 days, honestly. So, you give me that stat, and you give me the number of people that have flashed back vaccinated or unvaccinated faster than that time and test it out.
“Okay, we’ll go from there, but I mean that’s my teammate, that’s my brother. We’re going to support him. That’s his decision, as I said way back in training camp when you guys asked me this question. So, yeah unfortunately we’re not having him, but I know he’ll come back and be beneficial for us in late part of the season.”
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Cooper Will Not Play vs. Raiders on Thanksgiving
Cooper will miss a minimum of two games not just because of his vaccination status, but the Cowboys are playing those two matchups in four days. This makes it impossible for the required 10 days to pass before the Cowboys’ second game hits. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been vocal about his desire for all of the Dallas players to be vaccinated.
“Everyone has a right to make their own decisions regarding their health and their body,” Jones told Dallas’ 105.3 the Fan on August 24, via USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “I believe in that completely- until your decision as to yourself impacts negatively many others. Then the common good takes over. And I’m arm-waving here, but that has everything to do with the way I look at our team, the Cowboys, or the way I look at our society. We have to check ‘I’ at the door and go forward with ‘we.’ Your Dallas Cowboys are doing that.”
The Cowboys Could Also be Without Lamb
The Cowboys could be without their top two receivers when they face the Raiders on Thanksgiving. CeeDee Lamb suffered a concussion just before the first half ended in the Cowboys’ loss to the Chiefs. Lamb will need to clear the concussion protocol to have a chance to play against the Raiders, a scenario that Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones left the door open to during a November 22 interview with 105.3 the Fan.
Ezekiel Elliott is another Cowboys playmaker playing through a knee injury. The good news is Cooper is expected to return for the Cowboys’ December 2nd matchup against the Saints, barring any COVID setbacks. A win against the Raiders would make a banged-up Cowboys team feel much better.