Mick Shots: Of Amore-Amari, Wolves & Titles 


FRISCO, Texas – For some reason this darn song has been looping in my small brain now for a couple of weeks.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore.

That thanks to Amare, you know Cooper, who's name fits nicely into the end of that 1953 song sung by Dean Martin. And then, thanks to my internet search, sure enough, found a University of Alabama fan's rendition of the song when Cooop was playing for the Crimson Tide. His version went like this:

When the game is in play, and the big catch is made, that's Amari.

After Sunday, anyone want to argue with that?

Anyone still want to argue with the Cowboys sending their 2019 first-round pick to the Raiders at the trade deadline? That they overpaid?

The Raiders just might be coming back asking for a rebate, charging the Cowboys with a heist of major proportions.

You've read all the firsts, mosts, bests after his 10-catch, 217-yard, three-touchdown performance Sunday in the 29-23 victory over the Eagles. But now comes his second NFC Offensive Player of the Week award in his six games this year with Dallas, a first for a Cowboys wide receiver in a single season and the first since Tony Romo in 2007 for a Cowboys offensive player in the same season.

His response.

"I think it's cool," he says, barely creasing a smile. "I think when a team has success that's when individual accolades come."

About the most boastful, or maybe emotional, he's been came after his game-winner against the Eagles on that 15-yard tip-ball, saying into the sideline camera during the immense celebration alongside the Cowboys bench, "Even when I'm covered, I'm not covered, man."

True that.

Someone check his NFL I.D. Is he really just 24 years old? Is he really in just his fourth NFL season? Is he really a wide receiver?

Heard someone say the other day, "Great, but now Amari is going to cost." Sure, he is. Troy Aikman cost. Michael Irvin cost. Emmitt Smith cost, and for 13 years. Tony Romo cost. Tyron Smith cost. Zack Martin cost.

That's what happens when a star hits your eye…

Now, let me hit with the rest of my best shots.

· Eastern Star. You realize the Cowboys need to win just one of their next three games – either at Indy, home against the Bucs, or at the Giants – to clinch their second NFC East title in three years, and their third in five years. And since the Cowboys won the NFC East those five consecutive seasons from 1992-96, only the Philadelphia Eagles have won back-to-back division titles, winning four straight from 2001-04. In fact, since that Cowboys run in the '90s and the Eagles at the turn of the century, only the Cowboys have won as many as two NFC East titles in three years (2007-09 and 2014-16). If they do so again as early as Sunday with a win over the Colts, that will be the third two-out-of-three for them and the first three in five years since the Eagles' four straight. Oh, also to clinch, the Cowboys would need only the Eagles and the Redskins to lose one more, and now the 'Skins are going with their fourth starter at quarterback, Josh Johnson, who has started just one game since 2010, and the Eagles now have reportedly lost starter Carson Wentz, and if so would be reduced to their backup, Nick Foles.

· Playing Wolf: We've learned a heckuva lot about Leighton Vander Esch's background since he arrived here with the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2018, including personal, football, family and hunting. But the rookie linebacker revealed this interesting tidbit while writing the piece entitled "Enter The Wolf Hunter" in The Players' Tribune: "But the whole wolf hunter thing? I mean … that's different. That's the one part of my story, and my background, that definitely looks like it's here to stay. And I really do kind of feel like it was a big part of why I ended up in Dallas.

"I know that probably sounds crazy, but when I met with a bunch of Cowboys coaches for my formal interview at the combine, we honestly talked more about hunting than football. It was maybe a minute or two of me introducing myself, and a few quick football questions, but then the rest of the time was all about …


"It was pretty neat, actually. I was like, _Hmm, this is a little bit different. _But I loved that those guys wanted to learn more about my interests and the personal side of things beyond football."

Maybe that's how you find _the right kind of guy.

· One More Coooop: There is a lot of criticism from outside these walls over Dak Prescott's ability to accurately throw the football, and especially on deep balls. Well, the Week 14 NFL stats reveal Dak's completion percentage of 68.2 ranks ninth in the NFL after 13 games this year, ahead of the likes of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. And that produces those, yeah, buts … he can't throw a deep ball. So when Amari was asked what he liked about Dak after six games, he piped up to say, "I like the deep ball he throws. Puts it out there and lets me run underneath it." Hmmm, imagine that.

· Final Shots: Not only does Ezekiel Elliott lead the league in rushing, 1,262 yards to 1,203 over Todd Gurley, he also leads the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,764, 11 more than rookie Saquan Barkley and 57 more than Gurley. He also leads the league in touches with 333, so yes, he deserved a day off from practice on Wednesday, saying, "I want to be fresh for Sunday." So do the Cowboys … The Cowboys are 30th in Red Zone offense, converting touchdowns on just 19 of their 41 trips inside the 20-yard line, only 46.3 percent, with just the Niners and Jets worse … And a lot of that has to do with their woeful touchdown conversion percentage in goal-to-go situations, just 10 of 21, or 47.6 percent. And as good as their defense is playing, the opponents' conversion percentage is 54.5.

That there a problem shot.