Cowboys’ Amari Cooper dominant in loss to Bucs, but wants ‘great’ not ‘good’ catches from Dallas WRs – CBSSports.com

Lest ye forget, Amari Cooper doesn’t simply want the mashed potatoes in 2021 — he wants the gravy, too. For Cooper, that means more than simply racking up yet another 1,000-yard season, but instead making a deep run into the postseason and potentially hoisting a Lombardi trophy for the first time in his otherwise impressive career. Much like Dak Prescott, who basically thumped the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Week 1 to the tune of 403 yards and three touchdowns, Cooper can’t do it alone in what is nothing short of a loaded WR corps. To that point, the one interception tallied by Prescott wasn’t truly accountable to him — making a keyhole throw on a frozen rope through triple coverage to CeeDee Lamb only to see it bounce off of his hands and into those of the defender. On the whole, while Lamb’s stat line was strong with 104 receiving yards, it was fueled mostly by timely make-up catches that did their best to balance the untimely drops that stalled a promising opening drive and then again at several critical points in the game.Cooper, again like Prescott, entered the game with many questioning if he’d be 100 percent after returning from offseason ankle surgery and, again like Prescott, he proved he’s just fine — taking a flamethrower to the Bucs secondary with 139 passing yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches from 16 targets.  Amari Cooper CLE • WR • 19 View Profile But, the Cowboys lost, and it was as attributable to Lamb’s struggles as it was a missed block by tight end Blake Jarwin that would’ve otherwise allowed Ezekiel Elliott to walk into the end zone late in the game. So if you’re thinking Cooper is satisfied with his big game, you’d be wrong.  In his mind, that’s the floor, not the ceiling, and the ceiling is the roof. “A loss is always discouraging,” Cooper said after the narrow loss in Tampa. “We fought hard. Obviously, there are some things we could’ve cleaned up. Some things we could’ve done better. Any time you lose there is something to be worked on. “We just have to get back to the drawing board. Like Coach [McCarthy] said in the postgame, ‘The only thing we know after this game we is that we aren’t going undefeated.’ It wasn’t all bad, we did some good things too.”As noted by Prescott in his post-game press conference, Cooper wants every wideout in the Cowboys locker room to understand the standard and their potential in what is again proving itself to be a dynamic offense with Prescott back under center. “Yeah, I just stepped in when he was breaking down the receivers one day and heard him saying that and I loved it,” he said of a coaching-up session he stumbled upon between Cooper and the younger receivers. “Obviously, I loved him holding them accountable — telling them that we’ve got to take the ball out of the air, we’re making good catches, but we’ve got to make great catches [and take it to another level]. “We have a signal caller meeting pretty much every day and I just brought that in there to all the skill positions and told them what Amari was speaking, and said you can be great and come up short, and I feel like that’s what tonight was — it was a great effort but we came up short and we want to be the best. The best is simply being better than the other guy day in and day out and being the best in the league, and that’s the expectations that we have and those guys have, so we’re just going to hold each other to that.”But don’t go thinking Prescott has lost faith in a WR corps that nearly produced three 1,000-yard receivers in 2020, despite a carousel of poor QB play following the loss of their QB1 to a season-ending injury.  We love to see it!

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