FRISCO, Texas – Amari Cooper literally saved the best for last on Tuesday.
Easily the most memorable rep of a two-hour practice session came on the last snap of the day. Working in the two-minute drill, Cooper Rush saw Cooper in one-on-one coverage against Trevon Diggs working down the right hand sideline.
Rush lofted a beautiful ball to the front end zone pylon, and Cooper eked out just enough separation to put his hands up and snag the pass, nestling the tip of the ball into the crooks of his elbows for a fantastic touchdown.
Naturally, with any contested catch, there's going to be a conversation about contact. Asked about it after practice, Diggs said Cooper assuredly pushed off to buy himself so much space. But no flags were thrown and Cooper earned himself the biggest play of his abbreviated training camp to date.
Here are some more notes from the practice fields at The Star:
- Tuesday was the first time the team has practiced outdoors since returning from California, and the impact was obvious. Temperatures reached as high as 95 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, and players were clearly feeling the effects of the harsher climate. It's a good bet Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will schedule more outdoor practices in an effort to acclimate his team to the steamy conditions awaiting in Tampa for the season opener.
- An interesting update on the injury front. Chauncey Golston has become a bit of a forgotten man since starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a hamstring injury. Golston rehabbed with a helmet on during practice, which is the most the media has been able to see from him during these open practices. It remains to seen what Golston's timeline looks like, but it's an encouraging bit of activity for the rookie.
- Second-year linebacker Francis Bernard also worked his way through some rehab on Tuesday. Bernard also injured his hamstring at the outset of camp and hasn't been available to this point.
- Cooper Rush seemed to handle the first-team reps quite well. McCarthy made it a point that the fifth-year quarterback would get the work with the starters this week, and Rush seemed to pick up where he left off on Saturday. In addition to the late touchdown to Cooper, Rush also managed to find Blake Jarwin down the seam for several big gains during team period.
- Nice pass coverage from Anthony Brown to break up a would-be first down from Rush to Michael Gallup. Gallup seemed to have the edge on a slant route, but Brown regained some ground as the ball came out and managed to swipe the pass out of Gallup's reach from behind.
- The Cowboys had very little safety depth Tuesday with Malik Hooker and rookie Israel Mukuamu currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and Donovan Wilson and Damontae Kazee also not practicing. Jayron Kearse and Darian Thompson got the first-team reps.
- Quarterback Dak Prescott (shoulder strain) continued to ramp up his throwing during individual drills, a 25-yard yard throw to the sideline on one rep. Head coach Mike McCarthy didn't say for sure whether Prescott will jump into team drill work this week but does expect him to do more in practice than last week.
- Kicker Greg Zuerlein (back) is still on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, but he's getting close to a return. McCarthy said Zuerlein is pointing toward coming off PUP this week in order to kick against Jacksonville in Sunday's preseason finale.
- It was a good day for tight ends Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin. Both made multiple catches in team drills, including Jarwin getting open on a seam route for about a 30-yard catch from Garrett Gilbert. Defensive end Bradlee Anae got into the backfield before the throw, though, so it might have been a sack in a normal live rep.