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What Kind Of Effect Can Cooper Have For Zeke?


FRISCO, TEXAS – For 10 straight days, we've been asking all the wrong people about the Amari Cooper trade.

Of course, the front office, the coach, the receivers coach and the quarterback can all provide valuable insight into the addition of a Pro Bowl receiver to the offense.

But who could possibly be happier about adding a new weapon to the offense than Ezekiel Elliott – the guy who's charged with running the offense against stacked defensive fronts, week in and week out?

"I think it's a great move. He's a special player," Elliott said Thursday. "You can just tell he's special by the way he runs around. He's electrifying and he's just one of those guys where you kind of hold your breath every time he catches the ball."

It goes without saying, given that the Cowboys dealt a first-round pick for Cooper, but that's exactly the type of firepower this offense has lacked through the first seven games.

The Cowboys were hopeful that their collection of young receivers could eventually force opposing defenses to stop crowding the box, but it never materialized. Now, it'll fall to Cooper to help the Dallas rushing attack hum with the efficiency it has become used to in the last few years.

"They're going to have to throw some attention at him, and if they don't then they're going to get hurt," Elliott said. "It's definitely going to loosen that box up and make things a little bit easier."

Elliott would be the first to tell you that the lack of passing production isn't the only problem. The Cowboys are fourth in the league in rushing offense, averaging 137 yards per game and highlighted by several standout performances. The problem is they haven't been able to sustain it, throwing up several clunkers – including a 73-yard effort two weeks ago against Washington.

"I would say it's definitely more inconsistent, and I think it's either that we've played well or we haven't played that well at all," Elliott said. "That's just something we've got to be clued in to going in to the rest of this season – just making sure that we're coming out and being able to run the ball consistently over the remainder of the season."

On top of the Cooper trade, the Cowboys are clearly hopeful that they'll also benefit from the coaching change in the offensive line room. Between those two factors, there's plenty of cause for optimism that the offense as a whole can raise its level of play.

For Elliott's sake, it'd be great if that's the case. After all, it's not like the Cowboys are about to change what they do. They're simply planning to do it better.

"Teams know when they play us, we're going to run the ball," he said. "That's always going to be the focus. But it's going to help for sure having Amari out there, just opening up some stuff."