Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Amari Cooper: 'You Cannot Win Anything Individually'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 23, 2021

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 14: Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper (19) runs after a catch during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons on November 14, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones discussed Amari Cooper's absence during Tuesday's radio appearance on Shan and RJ of 105.3 The Fan.

"Nobody is saying he isn't outstanding, but this is a classic case of how it can impact a team," Jones said. "At the end of the day, this is a team. You cannot win anything individually. ... The point is, it popped us. This did pop us."

Cooper tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to quarantine for 10 days because he is unvaccinated, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. After being added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, Cooper missed Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he'll also miss Thursday's battle with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Jones said Tuesday that Cooper likely would have played Sunday if he was vaccinated.

The Cowboys struggled without Cooper in Week 11, especially after fellow receiver CeeDee Lamb was ruled out of the game with a concussion.

Kansas City earned a 19-9 victory, holding Dallas to its lowest scoring output of the season. Dak Prescott had trouble finding open receivers as the team mustered just 194 passing yards.

On Thursday, the Cowboys face the Raiders, who are tied for fourth in the NFL in net passing yards allowed per attempt. Lamb may miss the game in concussion protocol, making Cooper's absence even larger.

Jones called Cooper "one of the highest-character guys that you will ever be around" and indicated he isn't disappointed in the receiver for remaining unvaccinated. That said, his actions are affecting the team as it tries to contend for a title.

"The facts are, it is a 'we' thing when you walk into the locker room," Jones said. "And anybody is being counted on to pull his weight. Everybody expects that. They look around at each other. They understand their rights. They do, we do. Everybody understands our rights, and our options as it pertains to those rights."

The 7-3 Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East, but the lead is shrinking after the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) won their last two games.