The Cowboys could have used Amari Cooper on Sunday, especially after CeeDee Lamb left with a concussion on the final snap of the first half. Cooper was back home, presumably watching on TV, as he isolates after testing positive for COVID-19.
Without him, the Cowboys failed to score a touchdown, managed only 194 passing yards and dropped four passes.
Dak Prescott is vaccinated. He would not confirm in training camp that he is vaccinated in deference to his unvaccinated teammates, specifically Cooper, but the quarterback erroneously cited HIPAA as his reason.
He finally confirmed his vaccination status postgame but maintained support for his top receiver.
“I mean, it’s unfortunate not having him,” Prescott said, via quotes distributed by the team. “To say the decision he made — I mean I’m vaccinated and I could get it and be out two games. Let’s try not to knock the guy or put the guy down for a personal decision. I don’t think there’s anybody that comes back under 10 days. You give me that stat on guys that are either vaccinated or unvaccinated coming back faster than that time and tested out, then ok, we’ll go from there. That’s my teammate; that’s my brother. We’re going to support him. That’s his decision, as I said way back in training camp when you guys asked me this question. Unfortunate we don’t have him, but I know he’ll come back and be beneficial for us late in the season.”
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is vaccinated, returned to the lineup Sunday night after missing only seven days. He tested positive Nov. 13, self-reporting symptoms.
The Cowboys will not have Cooper for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Raiders as unvaccinated players are required to miss 10 days. Lamb also could miss the game with the short turnaround.
Michael Gallup was the team’s leading wideout Sunday, catching five passes for 44 yards. Combined, the team’s wideouts caught 13 passes for 105 yards against the Chiefs. Tight ends and running backs caught the other 15 passes for 111.
“It’s just an opportunity for other guys to step up and make plays,” Prescott said. “We’ve had different guys including myself go out week after week and other guys have had to step in and make those plays. It’s challenging when you’re missing a guy like Amari who is such a playmaker and dynamic but we’ve got to be able to win without him.”