FRISCO, Texas – Only five practices. Only three complete exercises.
When the Dallas Cowboys face the Tennessee Titans at the AT & T Stadium on Monday night, broadband broadcaster Amari Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott spent about six hours together on the practice field.
Since the acquisition of Cooper by the Oakland Raiders on October 22, the cowboys have tried to teach him about their offenses. Coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and Prescott have called Cooper a fast learner.
What can be realistic expectations for a live game?
Prescott had a full offseason program, a training camp and two pre-season games to get used to the receivers who joined the team in the past offseason. Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and Michael Gallup.
They even had informal workouts before the season. But when the season started, the chemistry between quarterback and wide receiver was missing. And seven games have not got much better.
Hurns has 13 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown. Thompson has 12 catches for 103 yards. Gallup has 10 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown.
The cowboys were so desperate to help Prescott in the passing game and tried to push the playoffs. They gave up their 2019 pick in the first round to keep Cooper away from the Raiders.
The last time the Cowboys made a big deal for a broad receiver came in 2008, when they sent the Royals of the first choice, the third and sixth rounds to the Detroit Lions, and a seventh round of voting. In the 10 games Williams played this season, he never had more than three catches or 51 yards in a game.
However, Prescott is ready to prove that he and Cooper will have the chemistry that Williams and Tony Romo could never quite figure out.
"I mean, such a great player, he will make room, he will be open," said Prescott. "Then we have to take him to the ball."
The cowboys opened the season with a turn at the receiver. In recent weeks, they have come back in part because of the need for injury (Terrance Williams, Brice Butler) and because it was not effective.
In the last two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins, Gallup played 59 and 56 snaps. Hurns played 57 and 54 snapshots. Cole Beasley, the Cowboys' leading recipient, played 42 and 53 snapshots. Thompson has played a total of 22 snaps in the last two games.
The cowboys do not bring Cooper into action. Linehan said he will do a lot and play, but he does not know what the snapshots will look like against the Titans.
"People respect him, they know who he is," Linehan said. "He's a guy who abilities can hurt defense in many ways."
Cooper had two week Cowboys exercises that took less than an hour. Last weekend, Cooper returned to the Bay Area, but met at Fallon Sports Park with the diversified coach Sanjay Lal to run through games and situations.
Cooper spoke several times with Prescott over the phone. When he returned to Texas, he and Prescott spent more time on the field to get a feel for each other.
"All little things are important," Cooper said. "Communication, it does not matter what you do, you have to be on the same page."
It's no coincidence that Prescott and Cooper are separated only by a locker in The Star. In New England, Tom Brady's locker is right next to his newest receiver. Josh Gordon.
"Every time we sit here or in meetings, we go through different things, signals, whatever it is," Prescott said. "But he is a sharp guy. He is not a guy who wants to say he has it and only gets it through once. He has already picked up items and asks detailed questions about our offense. He is a smart guy. "
It's one thing to talk about. It's another thing to do it in the field
"We went out and executed, and those we did not clean up had another chance in this game and did it the way we wanted," Prescott said. "It's going in the right direction. I'm looking forward to being out there with live action when everything is real. "