Conine: Cowboys Notebook -- Dak to Amari is clutch game of catch

It seems Prescott is more comfortable throwing to Cooper than any other Cowboy -- Especially for first downs and TDs

BY CHAD CONINE

Since arriving from Oakland, wide receiver Amari Cooper has brought explosive plays to the Cowboys offense.

However, a possibly underrated quality is his presence as a go-to possession receiver. Quarterback Dak Prescott found Cooper to convert three third downs against Philadelphia, including the 15-yard game-winning touchdown, which came on third-and-8.

It appears Prescott is more comfortable throwing to Cooper than he has been tossing the rock to any receiver, tight end or running back in his time as the Cowboys' quarterback. Cooper has caught 40 passes in six games, an average of 6.7 per contest. Extending that over a 16-game season would project Cooper catching 107 balls. In his first two seasons as the Dallas starter, Prescott's high for finding a single pass-catcher was Cole Beasley's 75 receptions in 2017.

--When the Cowboys traveled to play the Houston Texans in Week 5, both teams were mired in early-season slumps.

The Cowboys' two wins and two losses meant they were a game better than Houston at that point as the Texans lost three of their first four.

Now both Texas NFL teams are on track to make the playoffs. While the Cowboys have a two-game lead in the NFC East with three games left in the regular season, Houston has the same edge in the AFC South. Dallas is in position to help the Texans in their quest to win their division when the Cowboys travel to play the Colts, currently tied for second in the NFC South, on Sunday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 294.2 - Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott's passing yards per game during the team's current five-game winning streak. That's 86.7 yards better than Prescott's average through the first half of this season. The increase aligns almost perfectly with the arrival of wide receiver Amari Cooper, who joined the team before Dallas's eighth game of the season.

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Tavon Austin returned to limited work in practice on Wednesday. He missed the last seven games with a groin injury.

--WR Cole Beasley sprained his right foot against New Orleans. He played against Philadelphia on Sunday and went through a full workout on Wednesday.

--CB Anthony Brown is listed with a hand injury. He played against Philadelphia and went through full practice on Wednesday.

--RB Ezekiel Elliott didn't practice on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He came out of the Eagles game in the fourth quarter, but returned to action.

--DL David Irving left practice six weeks ago with a high-ankle sprain. He hasn't played the last six games and didn't practice on Wednesday.

--LB Sean Lee has missed the last six games with a groin injury. He went through limited practice on Wednesday.

--RG Zack Martin came out of the Philadelphia game with a knee injury. He didn't practice on Wednesday.

--T Tyron Smith played against Philadelphia despite a neck injury. He went through a limited practice on Wednesday.

--LG Xavier Su'a-Filo tweaked an ankle in the win over Washington. He went through a full practice on Wednesday.

--TE Geoff Swaim suffered a wrist injury against Atlanta. He hasn't played in the last three games and didn't practice on Wednesday.

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