The Dallas Cowboys activated Amari Cooper off the COVID list and back onto the roster Wednesday, making him eligible to play in the 7-4 club’s Thursday night visit to New Orleans.
But does “eligible” mean he’ll actually play? Does clearance mean the Pro Bowl receiver is feeling well enough - remember, the Cowboys earlier this week said he wasn’t “feeling his best” - to be a true contributor?
Could Cooper be a decoy against the Saints?
It’s a theory, in part driven by the fact the team will have back receiver CeeDee Lamb (concussion), as he’s done the week’s worth of work at The Star on in preparation for the Week 13 game vs. the Saints. But Cooper did. not get in that level of work, finally practicing only on Wednesday … and even then, only on a limited basis, leaving him listed as “questionable” for tonight.
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“I don’t make those decisions,” Amari says of returning to Dallas. “I honestly don’t know, but hopefully.”
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Coach Mike McCarthy, who will miss the game due to COVID, said Cooper would likely need a day’s work to prepare. But how ready is he?
Meanwhile, on the subject of being a decoy: Can Cooper be spared that way, given that while Lamb and Michael Gallup will play, fellow receivers Cedrick Wilson (ankle, out) and Malik Turner (illness, questionable) leave Dallas thin at the position.
In the end, a little Amari Cooper is better than none at all. But a fully healthy Cooper is substantially better than a still-ill one trying to blufhis way through a night in the NFL.