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Free Agency Tracker | 2023

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Where Cowboys See Cooks Being "Exceptional"


PHOENIX He's had 1,000-yard seasons from Drew Brees and Tom Brady. He went over the same milestone with Deshaun Watson throwing to him. And he's also surpassed 1,000 yards with Davis Mills as his quarterback. 

Needless to say, Brandin Cooks can be effective in just about any offense with any quarterback throwing him the ball, whether they're headed to Canton one day or not. 

During his nine-year career, Cooks has produced six 1,000-yard seasons and he's just the second player in NFL history to have four of them with four different teams, joining only Brandon Marshall.

So to say Cooks is a scheme-fit seems like an understatement. And to the one now calling the plays in Dallas, head coach Mike McCarthy is excited about the fact Cooks has excelled in different offenses.

"That's a great point. I think it definitely shows his versatility," McCarthy said. "And I think any time you jump from scheme to scheme, I know for me personally, to have the opportunity to coach the last couple of years in a digit system based, that was formed from a digit system, and now being a West Coast offense my whole career, when you learn other systems it just broadens your football education. I think Brandin definitely brings that."

McCarthy is confident Cooks will fit into the offense, but where exactly will he line up? Right now, in late March, they don't have to decide that. But having the versatility to play both inside and outside is an advantage, especially with CeeDee Lamb already on board. Last year, Lamb showed his ability to play multiple spots, which helped him to a career-high 107 receptions.

But if Lamb is going to play in multiple positions, that means the fellow receivers have to do the same, and that's something both Michael Gallup and Cooks have shown the ability to do.

"The versatility of wide receiver play to me, is key," McCarthy said this week when asked about his vision for Cooks. "Because when you can play an individual inside and outside, obviously it gives him more flexibility, more opportunities for him personally, but it makes the other guys around them better. I think you can see that now with CeeDee, his ability to play inside and outside and have that type of versatility."

All that being said, McCarthy said there is a spot where Cooks excels more than others.

"But I think if you're going to line him up, I think his outside vertical routes, I think he's exceptional," McCarthy said. "You can see the production that he's really had in every scheme he's played in, too. We have looked at his route tree, the routes he's primarily been used at, what he's been productive at. We'll pay close attention to that."

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