FRISCO, Texas – All eyes will be on Amari Cooper this week, from the sounds of Jason Garrett’s Monday press conference.
The Cowboys’ head coach spoke to reporters Monday evening in the wake of his team’s 24-22 loss to the New York Jets. Chief among the many concerns after that game was the health of Cooper, who exited the game with a quad injury after just three snaps.
“He has the contusion on his thigh, which obviously bothered him yesterday,” Garrett said. “He was going to try to play and he just felt like once he got started he couldn’t play. So we’ll see. We’ll take his situation day by day.”
This isn’t a new injury, as Cooper has said it’s bothered him at times. It was listed on the Cowboys’ injury report heading into the game. He appeared to aggravate the problem while getting tackled on his only reception of the game, and he seemed to struggle hitting top speed on a double-move on the next play.
“I think when he came down, he felt it and it was bothering him. So he wasn’t able to continue to play,” Garrett said.
Add the thigh contusion to the foot and ankle problems that have bothered him since training camp, and it’s a reasonable guess that Cooper is dealing with a lot right now.
Following the game, there was speculation about the decision to make Devin Smith inactive, given that Cooper only played the first series of the game. Garrett said the injury was unforeseen and there hadn’t been much worry pregame that Cooper wouldn’t be available.
Without him, the Cowboys leaned on Cedrick Wilson and Tavon Austin to step up alongside Michael Gallup and make up for the absence. Austin had five catches for 64 yards, while Wilson caught five balls for 46 yards.
“I thought the young guys who went in and played did a pretty good job, I thought they functioned well,” Garrett said. “Cedrick Wilson made a number of plays in the game. Tavon did some good things for us. So that’s what you have to do when guys are banged up you put the next guy in, you keep going.”
Only time will tell if Cooper is available for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia. He’s been limited in practice for most of the season, so his participation this week will be something to watch. Asked about it on 105.3 FM The Fan on Monday afternoon, chief operating officer Stephen Jones expressed optimism that Cooper could get back later this week.
“We've got a couple of receivers we were missing yesterday in Cobb and Amari, and hopefully Cobb will get back and hopefully Amari will get back this week,” he said.