Cowboys vs Vikings: 5 quick hits from the Week 8 matchup

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dallas Cowboys: #4. The Cooper Connection

Credit goes to my cousin Ryan for helping me with the title for No. 4. The connection between wide receiver Amari Cooper and Cooper Rush was reliable for the offense all night. Since Dallas traded for Cooper in 2018, he has been worth the first-round pick price tag.

Cooper had only one game of over 100 yards receiving until Sunday night, and that was Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During that stretch, he has kept his head down and continued to grind at practice. Cooper has been dealing with injuries to his hamstring, ankle, and ribs. None of that mattered against the Vikings secondary.

If Cooper does not come down with the catch above, there is a possibility that Dallas does not win the game. If you play the clip in slow motion, you can see the ball hits the cornerback directly in the chest and should have been intercepted. The concentration and focus of Cooper allowed him to make that big play.

No. 19 injured his hamstring and was working it out on the sideline so he could get back in the game for the final play. Even with playing on one leg, Cooper went up for a fade pass, pulled it out of the air, and still got both feet down for the game-winning touchdown.

Only a few wideouts can carry an offense, and Amari Cooper is one of them. There can be a lot of criticism towards Cooper when he is not getting 100 plus yards regularly for the money he is making. One thing is for sure; the Cowboys feel he has given them everything and then some.

Dallas Cowboys: #3. Next Man Up

In previous years, the Cowboys season would have been crippled due to significant injuries. Not this season. The depth of this team has been its strength.

Dallas has rattled off six wins in a row in large part to backups stepping up and playing as if they belong. Cooper Rush was mentioned above, but players like tackle Terence Steele, receiver Cedrick Wilson, and rookie defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa have played great.

It is almost forgotten that tackle La’El Collins, receiver Michael Gallup, and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore have been missing for most of the season. Steele has turned the corner from last season and has seemingly kept his job as starting right tackle even with Collins back.

Wilson has been a great number three option for the team with his trick plays and reliability in big situations like two weeks ago in New England. Odighizuwa has provided a run-stopping force that this defense was lacking last season.

Former Head Coach Jason Garrett preached this same mentality of next man up, but it never seemed to work. When players buy into a coaching style that works, and the personnel department gives the team the right players, it will always be possible to be 6-1.

It will be interesting to see where the injured players fit into the current rotation when they come back. Asking that question is always a good problem to have because there can never be too much talent on an NFL roster.