Dare we say the Dallas Cowboys offense is back on track? The results this season have been disappointing, but the last two games are a cause for optimism largely because Dak Prescott has performed at a Pro Bowl level.
Another sign for encouragement? The Cowboys are finally using Brandin Cooks. You know, the veteran wideout they acquired from the Texans in the offseason. The guy, who, for whatever reason, was invisible for the first five games.
Over the last two weeks, though, Cooks has caught 7-of-8 targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Fans would still like him to be more involved, but this production is about what the Cowboys signed up for when they traded for him.
The thing about Cooks, though, is that he brings so much more to the table than game-breaking speed and sticky hands. He's a respected veteran who leads by example and has learned a thing or two during his time in the NFL.
In fact, Cooks called his own touchdown Sunday after he recognized a flaw in the Rams' young secondary. This is awesome, folks.
Cowboys' Brandin Cooks called his own TD vs the Rams, per Dak Prescott
Are we sure Cooks can't double as WR2 and offensive coordinator?
All jokes aside, Mike McCarthy called an excellent game on Sunday. While we saw a lot of the same concepts, he incorporated more at-snap motion and play-action. Unsurprisingly, Prescott thrived under the (overdue) new conditions.
Cooks' touchdown was your standard shotgun snap, but the WR recognized throughout the game that the Rams' CBs were ball-hungry.
At some point, they were going to bite on a stutter step, and sure enough, Cooks made them pay. Prescott uncorked a perfectly-lofted pass and Cooks caught it in stride to give the Cowboys their second 40-burger of the season.
This angle of Cooks' touchdown shows just how subtle his stutter was. The defensive back gave Cooks the slightest bit of leverage and the speedster put on the afterburners. It's incredible recognition from Cooks and great coaching on McCarthy's part to trust his receiver.
Cooks ran a total of 40 routes in the game. At the time of his touchdown, he saw just three targets. What makes Cooks "different" is the fact he didn't lose interest despite a lack of volume. He studied the opponent and attained information that ultimately allowed the Cowboys to pull most of their starters in the fourth quarter.
The touchdown was electric and Prescott's revelation makes it all the more special and underlines why Cooks was Dallas' choice to upgrade at wide receiver.