FRISCO, Texas – It doesn't sound like this is going to be a slow process for Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys' star receiver returned to action Monday during the first practice after the team returned from California. From the sounds of it, the plan is for Cooper to up his activity goes along, with an eye on getting some snaps in Saturday's preseason game against Houston.
"Yeah, I want to play, for sure. I got word that I was playing," Cooper said Tuesday.
Even Monday's initial practice was impressive for a guy playing his first football of the year. After warming up and working through his position drills, Cooper even got involved in the competitive portion of practice, grabbing a few reps during team period before finishing up for the day.
If he's going to progress all the way toward preseason playing time, Cooper said he'd like to work his way up to running his full route tree during these next couple practices.
"It's just a lot that I haven't done that, when I was 100%, obviously I did everything -- I ran every route," he said. "Some things on the football field are harder to do than others, and I haven't really done the more challenging aspects of my position yet."
If Cooper gets into the action on Saturday, it's not going to be a huge workload. He guessed that his activity would be limited to 10 or so snaps. Still, for a guy who missed OTAs and the first two weeks of training camp, that's an impressive trajectory.
Then again, heading into his seventh NFL season, Cooper has a clear idea of what he needs to accomplish before the meaningful games begin. He started that process on Monday, and it doesn't sound like it's going to take too long for him to finish it.
"With me, I just want to do enough to feel confident going into Week 1," he said. "I just started practicing, so it's just about getting my legs back underneath me and getting my confidence back."