FRISCO, Texas — When Brandin Cooks was traded for over the offseason, it was clear that the Dallas Cowboys had a solidified WR2 going into training camp. Then, in Oxnard, that belief was solidified when everyone saw the connection that Cooks had with Dak Prescott early on both in the short-to-intermediate game and downfield.
However, halfway through the regular season, the production from a second-option wide receiver has not been present. Cooks sits fifth on the team in both receptions (17) and receiving yards (165) through eight games and has failed to make a considerable impact on the offense.
It's not the first time that Cooks has experienced a drought in his career. But when the drought is as severe as this one, a lot of outside noise begins to generate. However, for Cooks, it's all about what happens inside the building and trusting the position that he is in each week.
"I'm just gonna keep trusting it," Cooks said. "That's just who I am. In my mind, it's about getting back to work and work harder. When it comes, it's gonna come. And I mean that, I really do."
In other times of his career, Cooks self-admittedly was more brazen about his displeasure with not being integrated into an offense. But 10 years into his NFL career, he doesn't see any good that ever came out of that and is instead resorting to belief in the team around him.
"I'm not going down that path," he said. "Early on in my career, I went down that path and it's not good for you mentally or the guys that are around you. When I say I trust it, I trust Coach [McCarthy], I trust Dak and I trust the offense. It's gonna come, and when it comes you'll know."
"Being around the game long enough, you get these moments. When I say I'm not frustrated, I'm a veteran and I want to help and contribute, no doubt. But getting frustrated, all that's going to do is affect your mental and go down a route that you don't want to go down."
Cooks may not be seeing the production he expected coming into 2023, but it's been the exact opposite for CeeDee Lamb who sits top five in the league in receiving yards through eight games. When asked if he expects to be fed when Lamb is targeted by a defense with bracket or double coverage, Cooks said his two hands will be there to do the job.
"If that happens, best believe 3 will be ready."