Amari Cooper has been a blessing to Quarterback Dak Prescott since joining the organization midway through the 2018 season. He gave Prescott something he had been longing for since entering the NFL in 2016, a true number one wide receiver. In nine regular-season games with the Dallas Cowboys last year, he tallied 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns.
Once again this season, Cooper has been very productive. In 14 games he has 71 receptions for 1,073 yards (tied for eighth) and eight touchdowns (tied for third). However, there’s been a big disparity between how he performs in home games vs road games. Let’s dive into the numbers a little bit.
When the bright lights of AT&T Stadium come on it’s safe to say Cooper is like a kid in a candy store. All four of his 100-yard games this season have come at home, including his biggest performance of the season vs the Green Bay Packers in Week 5 when he registered 11 receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown, albeit in a losing effort. He’s racked up 48 receptions for 777 yards and five touchdowns in seven home games. That averages out to about seven receptions for 111 yards per game, first-team all-pro type of numbers.
Unfortunately for Cooper, all games can’t be played in Arlington, Texas. When the Cowboys have gone on the road, number 19 has seemed to disappear from the offense. Out of seven road games this season, Cooper has gained 80 yards or more in just two of them. Also, his two worst games of the season have come away from home. He only managed to snag one catch for three yards in Week 6 vs the New York Jets. Against the New England Patriots in Week 12 he was completely blanked from the stat sheet, without question the worst game of his career. In total, he has 23 receptions for 296 yards and three touchdowns on the road, which is about three receptions for 42 yards per game, pedestrian to say the least.
This Sunday, the Cowboys have an opportunity to clinch the NFC East title and punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win vs the Philadelphia Eagles. This is the perfect opponent for Cooper to fix his road woes against. In three games vs the Eagles since he joined the Cowboys, he’s been unstoppable as he’s totaled 21 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns. That means you can pencil him in for seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown every time he faces the Cowboy’s most hated rival.
A big reason why it’s important to get Cooper going on the road is that if the Cowboys do win the division and advance past the first round they will likely be on the road for the remainder of the postseason. With potential opponents such as the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Packers it would be wise to get Cooper feeling confident away from home this Sunday.
Cooper is one of the NFL’s best at the receiver position. Knowing this I fully expect a much better performance from him in Philadelphia this Sunday than we’ve seen during road games so far this season.