The Cowboys passed for only 137 yards, and Thomas picked off two passes in that game 15 weeks ago.
“That was a long time ago,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said. “If anything, we’re a different team. We look a lot different on both sides of the ball, especially us on offense, than we did then. I think the biggest difference is just in me being comfortable and just being able to play the way I have in the last couple of weeks and just sticking to that.”
The Cowboys averaged 183.1 passing yards in the first seven games without Cooper. They have averaged 250.8 passing yards in the nine games with him.
“You’ve seen the difference he has made to this team,” Prescott said. “. . .We are fortunate to have him. Knowing what they like to play — they like to play a lot of single high — that offers a lot of one-on-one matchups with him. So excited for that matchup.”
Cooper wasn’t with the Cowboys when they played Seattle, but he was with the Raiders when they played Seattle.
He lasted only 12 plays as Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald knocked Cooper out of the game with a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit. Cooper left with a concussion and a rib injury.
McDougald wasn’t penalized on the play, but the NFL did fine him $26,739 for unnecessary roughness. (McDougald told Gregg Bell of The Tacoma News on Wednesday that he got the fine reduced by about $7,000 on appeal.)
Cooper is ready for another shot at the Seahawks.
“They brought me here to make plays,” Cooper said. “I believe I can do that, especially with a one-high defense. I played Seattle earlier in the year. Got knocked out and not able to do much. But I believe if I play a whole game, I can do something.”
Cooper topped the 1,000-yard mark by 5 yards, catching 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys after making 22 receptions for 280 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders.
“Amari has been a good player for us,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s come in quickly and transitioned to our team and understanding what we’re asking him to do. He’s made a big impact in a short period of time. Any time you can add a player like that, not only the plays he makes but the looks he gets other guys, the looks they might get, the opportunity they might get. He’s certainly made a big impact on our team the last half of the season.”
The Seahawks won’t have Thomas, whom Prescott called a “great player,” but the Cowboys haven’t noticed a dropoff in the Seattle defense.
“They are different,” Prescott said. “They are playing better. They are playing a lot better than they were that game, but so are we. Some things have changed, but for the most part they stuck to who they are.”