Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. Because Cooper is unvaccinated, he will adhere to a mandated 10-day quarantine, which will knock him out of the Cowboys’s November 21 game against the Chiefs and the Thanksgiving game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
“Sources said the Cowboys have not had any other coronavirus issues related to Cooper’s test at the moment,” Archer wrote on Friday, November 19. “The Cowboys will fly to Kansas City after practice Saturday.”
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Cooper’s Valuable, But Cowboys Still Potent
Cooper, 27, is in his fourth season with Dallas and is on pace to finish with some strong pass-catching numbers this season. Through nine games, he has caught 44 passes for 583 yards and five touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. Cooper is the best No. 2 wide receiver in the NFL, which speaks to how potent the Cowboys’ offense will be in Week 11 even without him.
Dallas’ No. 1 wide receiver — second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb — is one of the top receivers in the NFL, and his numbers prove it. Lamb has 726 receiving yards on the season — ninth best among wide receivers — and six touchdowns on 44 catches, which is an average of 16.5 yards per reception, per the NFL’s official site. Then you add in Michael Gallup, who is easily the best No. 3 wide receiver on any team in the NFL, and tight end Dalton Schulz, who is seventh among tight ends in receiving yardage (448), per Statmuse, and the Cowboys have one of the NFL’s most potent passing attacks in Week 11 even without Cooper.
Quarterback Dak Prescott is the one distributing the football to all of Dallas’ pass catchers. In eight games this season, Prescott has completed 70.3% of his passes for 2,341 yards, 20 touchdowns — fourth-best in the league — and five interceptions. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is the star of the Cowboys’ run game with 663 yards on the ground and seven rushing touchdowns, both of which are fourth best among all running backs, according to ESPN.
So it’s safe to say Dallas will be okay offensively even without Cooper.
Chris Jones on Dallas’ O-Line
Among the many strong units for Dallas is their offensive line. And while they have been banged up and dealing with spotty play lately, Dallas is still PFF’s highest-ranked NFL team in run blocking (89.6) and fourth-highest in pass blocking (74.6). Even though those grades don’t take into account only the blocking done along the offensive line, it still speaks volumes to what the big guys up front have been able to accomplish this season.
Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones spoke about the Cowboys’ play in the trenches during his press conference on Friday, November 19.
“[Dallas’ offensive line is] definitely one of the better groups that we’ll see this year,” Jones said. “They do a very good job of protecting Dak [Prescott]. They mesh very well, a couple All-Pros on that line and they work well together. They’ve got a veteran quarterback who’s playing lights out, he completes 70 percent of his passes, and that’s a main reason for them protecting him, making sure he has a clear pocket.”