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Free Agency Tracker | 2023

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Cooks on Dak: 'I Look Forward to a Leader Like That'


It took five months and multiple conversations for it to materialize, but Brandin Cooks is now exactly where he wants to be and with a quarterback he can't wait to win games with

FRISCO, TX — To say there's a lot of excitement wafting around the Dallas Cowboys facility these days is akin to saying the surface of the sun is balmy. Optimism is justifiably at fever pitch after the team was not only able to retain its top defensive free agents, but also in adding Stephon Gilmore to that mix and — not to be neglected — striking another trade to grab Brandin Cooks to upgrade the offense.

But few are more excited than Cooks himself, who came scathingly close to joining the Cowboys in October ahead of the trade deadline before talks stalled, only to find himself getting exactly what and where he wanted less than five months later.

And, of course, it was Dak Prescott who made sure to be one of the first to welcome him to the team.

"The contact has been awesome. [When] Dak found out, he reached out to me," Cooks said with a smile. … He said he was excited, can't wait to get to work, had a lot of respect for my game, and he looked forward to having me be a part of the group."

Again: excitement.

Speaking of, Cooks went on to explain just why the feeling is more than mutual when it comes to the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback who threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions in 2021 — the last season he had a true three-headed hydra at receiver.

"I think his mindset that he brings to the game," Cooks explained. "You hear how his approach, his work ethic, the leader that he is, his story, his perseverance that he bounced back throughout his career. I think when you got a mindset like that at quarterback, it takes you a long way. I look forward to having a leader like that."

Additionally, picking up an entirely different playbook and learning it quickly is something Cooks is no stranger to and, quiet as it's kept, the fact he's been traded four times now (still producing six 1,000-yard seasons in the process) will only help him in acclimating quickly to what the Cowboys will put in front of him; and that is a recipe that should help them … cook … in 2023.

"Honestly, it's something I don't think about just because, I mean, if you love football and you love ball, it's pretty easy to pick up the playbook," said the former first-round pick. "I truly never thought about that. I just pick up the playbook, learn it, and keep pushing."

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