Amari Cooper's impact on Cowboys immeasurable
By ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer
Nobody is questioning Jerry Jones anymore about trading a first-round pick for Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys are 5-1 since the 24-year-old wide receiver was acquired from Oakland for a 2019 selection that will likely be in the 20s. They’re one win from securing the NFC East title after Cooper dominated the Philadelphia Eagles last week, catching 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-23 overtime victory.
Cooper had 22 catches for 280 yards and one TD in six games for Oakland. He has 40 receptions for 642 yards and six TDs with Dallas (8-5).
Dak Prescott had an 87.4 passer rating in seven games without Cooper, but it’s 105.7 with him. Oddly, Derek Carr’s rating was 94.5 with Cooper and 101.1 without him, but the Raiders are 3-10.
Cooper hasn’t only helped improve Dallas’ passing attack but the run game, too. Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 107.2 yards rushing in the last six games, up from 88.4 before Cooper joined the team.
Here’s a look inside more numbers entering Week 15:
DERRICK’S DAY: Derrick Henry was unstoppable in Tennessee’s win over Jacksonville. He set a franchise record with 238 yards rushing on 16 carries, topping the previous mark of 228 yards by Chris Johnson in 2009. Henry matched Tony Dorsett’s 99-yarder on Jan. 3, 1983, for Dallas against Minnesota for the longest TD run in NFL history. Henry became the first player in the NFL with four rushing TDs in a game since Jonas Gray of the Patriots in Week 11 in 2014. Henry also tied Lorenzo White and Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell for most rushing TDs in a single game in franchise history.
SAQUON’S CHASE: Saquon Barkley has five TDs of at least 50 yards. Billy Howton holds the rookie record with six such TDs for Green Bay in 1952. Randy Moss also had five in 1998. Barkley needs 100 scrimmage yards in two more games to break Eric Dickerson’s rookie record of 13 set in 1998.
MIAMI MIRACLE: The Dolphins’ game-winning 69-yard TD against New England was the longest — and wackiest — play from scrimmage to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since the 1970 merger. Kenyan Drake took a lateral from wide receiver DeVante Parker and ran 52 yards, leaving Rob Gronkowski stumbling to the ground on his way into the end zone.
ELITE COMPANY: Patrick Mahomes has 4,300 yards passing and 43 TDs, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999) as the only first- or second-year quarterbacks to surpass 4,000 and 40 in a single season.
K.C. CONNECTION: Mahomes’ top target, Travis Kelce, has 86 catches and 1,159 yards receiving. He’s the first tight end in league history with at least 80 and 1,000 in three consecutive seasons.
MORE CHIEFS: Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones is the first player to record a sack in at least nine consecutive games in a single season since the individual sack became an official stat in 1982.
MOVE OVER, TOM: Aaron Rodgers has not thrown an interception in 368 pass attempts, breaking Tom Brady’s record of 358 attempts without a pick.
TOMMY TERRIFIC: Brady tossed three TD passes in the loss at Miami, surpassing Peyton Manning (579) for most TD passes in NFL history, including the postseason.
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