Despite revealing he played last week with a cracked rib, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper was a full practice participant Friday and said he expects to play Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The four-time Pro Bowl wideout had been limited in practice a day earlier with what had been termed bruised ribs. While telling media members that he thinks the injured rib is cracked, he said Friday, “I’ll be ready to go” and called the pain “very manageable.”
Cooper, the team leader through two games with 16 receptions and two touchdown catches along with 163 yards, said he got injured during one of his two scoring plays in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He finished the season debut with 13 catches for 139 yards.
Cooper, who had a team-best 92 receptions for 1,114 yards last season along with five touchdown catches, has three 100-yard receiving games in his past five meetings with the NFC East rival Eagles.
Four other Cowboys sat out Friday’s workouts for the second consecutive day: tackle Ty Nsekhe (illness), defensive end Dorance Armstrong (ankle), defensive tackle Carlos Watkins (knee) and safety Donovan Wilson (groin).
–Field Level Media
The Dallas Cowboys activated Amari Cooper off the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday and the expectation is the Pro Bowl wide receiver will be ready for Week 1.
He’s eligible to practice for the first time in training camp. Cooper had ankle surgery in January.
Cooper, 27, said last week he was “real close” to being 100 percent.
Cooper had 92 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games last season.
For his career, the four-time Pro Bowl selection has 449 catches for 6,211 yards and 38 touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders (2015-18) and Cowboys. The Raiders selected Cooper No. 4 overall in the 2015 draft and traded him to Dallas in October 2018 for first-round pick in 2019.
Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million extension with the Cowboys in March 2020.
–Field Level Media
Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said linebacker Demarcus Lawrence underwent back surgery during the offseason and will open training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
It was the third back surgery of Lawrence’s career, but McCarthy said Thursday it was no reason for alarm bells.
“It’s more of a cleanup, so there’s no high concern,” McCarthy said. “He looks great. It’s probably more us than him as far as the timeline of him coming back.”
Lawrence is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he recorded 58 tackles, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles for Dallas, all improvements over his 2019 numbers. In his seven-year NFL career spent entirely with the Cowboys, Lawrence has recorded 300 tackles, 93 quarterback hits, 45.5 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and one interception.
Lawrence signed a five-year extension in 2019 worth $105 million.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper (ankle surgery) and kicker Greg Zuerlein (back surgery) are also on the PUP list to open camp as the Cowboys began workouts Thursday in Oxnard, Calif.
–Field Level Media
1) Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota
I imagine the Roseman/Kelly saga involved a conversation like this:
Roseman: Chip, where are the results?
Kelly: I just need the right guys! I told you, I need Oregon guys in the draft, and what do you give me?
Roseman: I did! I drafted Josh Huff and Taylor Hart!
Kelly: Yeah, no. I meant ALL Oregon guys. Give them all to me. They’re the only ones who truly understand me. Just let me do it next year.
This is the obvious one getting all the press, but Kelly’s love for Mariota (and many of his former players at Oregon) is well documented. With the 20th pick, it’s definitely a long-shot, but if Kelly isn’t sold on his current personnel, some of those pieces would be very attractive to some of the Top 5 teams. I’m looking at you Jags (McCoy?) and Titans (Foles?). Throw in a 3rd or a 4th, and it’s a deal. I don’t even like the Eagles, but it would be awesome to see Kelly’s offense take even 80% of the form it had in Oregon.
2) Teddy Bridgewater and DeVante Parker
If you put 2013 Bridgewater with 2014 Parker (who put up comparable numbers to his 2013 stats in half the games), I think Louisville has a better run than they did. Still, they were impressive together. Vikings’ GM Rick Spielman has already talked with Parker, and despite saying Bridgewater has nothing to do with it, it has to be tempting.
Look at these highlights. They’re like one singular mind, always knowing exactly where to place and find the ball.
3) Blake Bortles and Breshad Perriman
This would be a tough one to pull off. It would be insane to take him with the third pick with the other needs in Jacksonville (RB, OT, CB, etc..) and he might not last until the second round, but Perriman was Bortles favorite deep ball target at UCF. A trade down, or a trade back into the mid-to-late first might be worth it.
4) Teddy Bridgewater and Amari Cooper
This reunion is less talked about that Parker/Bridgewater, but the one that makes more sense for the Vikings. They played together at Miami Northwestern. Cooper is almost “uncoverable” in medium routes, an area where the Vikings were lacking in 2014. Parker is more of a deep threat. It comes down to whether Minnesota is convinced that Jarius Wright and/or Charles Johnson can become the primary long-ball target.
5) Jeremy Hill and Connor Neighbors
This is my sleeper pick. Hill had an impressive rookie year in Cincinnati averaging 5.1 yards per carry behind a sub-par line. The fullback is a dying breed in the NFL, and one I’d love to see resurrected. Watch this (at :46) or any number of Hill’s LSU highlights, and you’ll see Neighbors frequently paving the way. He’ll be available in the 6th or 7th round, so what have you got to lose?
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