FRISCO, Texas – Man, we go from Redskins Week one week to Bye Week this week.
Deep breath. Now breathe.
Sure has been a lot to digest over the past couple of days.
Another road loss. Worse, to the Redskins when no more than 7 inches away from sending the game into overtime. A 3-4 losing record. As bad, now just one of 20 teams in the NFL with no more than three wins after seven weeks. And then the trade:
The Cowboys sending their 2019 first-round draft choice to the Oakland Raiders for fourth-year wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Then Cooper's arrival for Wednesday's practice, the 24-year-old just a tad overwhelmed by the media attention his locker room presence drew afterward. And thank whatever higher authority you duly thank for DeMarcus Lawrence's bit of locker room levity to cause the kid to laugh.
Talk about rapid-fire shots. Let's go.
· The Un-WR: And this just might be a good thing, Cooper seeming very humble and soft-spoken, not like some of the hurricane-like personalities that have come through here at that position, gosh going all the way back to every one of those 88s, Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin, Dez Bryant, and right up there with Terrell Owens and Butch Johnson and Lance Rentzel. Nobody inside the organization is looking at Cooper as the offensive's salvation. And good thing about him, he says he's just trying to come in here, fit in and be ready when his name is called. And for those who have been reading stuff like, Cooper has put on 10 pounds since his rookie year? Please, he looked just fine in practice with his No. 19 jersey on, plus what 20-year-old coming out of college with the chance to work out without having to attend classes (they do go to school at Alabama, don't they) wouldn't put on 10 pounds. So, stop it. Cowboys are listing his weight as Oakland did, 6-1, 210.
· Run Amari Run: Watched two plays Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay was telestrating for The Jason Garrett Show, and on the second one, with the defense playing a Cover-3 and off-coverage by the corners, Cooper had enough speed to run past the corner and through two of the deep guys over the top for a lengthy touchdown. And my observation from just watching skeleton drills in practice and routes against air, the guy just glides effortlessly down field.
· Snapping To It: Time passed sure hasn't lessened the bitterness over the "snap infraction" called on long snapper L.P. Ladouceur as Cowboys kicker Brett Maher was ready to attempt a 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of the Washington game when the Redskins jumped offsides. And if you go back to watch the All-22, it was Daron Payne's teammate Caleb Brantley lined up to his right flinching that caused the rookie to jump offsides, not Ladouceur's left hand coming down on the ball as he laid it flat to snap. And if you go back and watch Ladouceur's hand operation of the early fourth-quarter field goal and the extra point just minutes earlier, he does the exact same thing. My experienced guess is if the Redskins had not jumped there would have been no flag. Man oh man.
· Something To Mooch On: Here is an independent voice on Amari Cooper's skills, this coming from former 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci that I read the other day: "I got to know Amari Cooper when he was in high school. He played in the Under Armour All-America game that I coach. He played on the other team and I saw him catch a touchdown from Jameis Winston, and I saw him return a punt for a 91-yard touchdown. I mean, the kid is special. He's just got to get on track, and I think he will. He's had some great games, he's just been inconsistent."
· Knowledge Is Dangerous: Wish all those busting Jason Garrett's chops for not throwing further down field with 52 seconds left in the Washington game, the Cowboys trailing 20-17, could go back and watch the All-22. First of all, the Redskins began blitzing a LB, sending five, so there wasn't a whole lot of extra time in the pocket. Next, the Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger was playing deep enough to jump into the South River. Like 20 to 25 yards off the line of scrimmage and back-peddling at the snap. And on a couple of those routes, the outside receivers never got open. Cole Beasley was the guy over the middle, and the Redskins were using Josh Norman to cover Michael Gallup in man. The Cowboys were not going to get behind the secondary for whatever most were wishing for. There is a difference between being aggressive and being stupid.
· Last Call: While the Cowboys have the No. 3 defense in yards per game, they are No. 2 in points allowed (123), which comes to 17.6 a game. Only Seattle has scored more than the Redskins' 20 points against the Cowboys, and remember seven of those were the sack/fumble/recovery in the end zone . . . As bad as the Cowboys' running game has been in the past two road games, Ezekiel Elliott rushing 35 times for 88 yards, Zeke still is the second-leading rusher in the NFL, and just 67 behind Todd Gurley who went off for 208 against Denver . . . How convenient the Cowboys not only gave Cooper No. 19 after releasing Brice Butler, but also gave him his locker. So while they didn't have time to put his nameplate above the locker by Wednesday, at least the number remained the same up there.