Speed was the name of the game for Jimmy Johnson's dynastic Cowboys of the early 1990s. It may be what the Cowboys use to get back to greener pastures in 2023.
Already a talented group, the Cowboys added to their offensive firepower this offseason when they acquired veteran wideout Brandin Cooks. While he may be entering his 10th season, the soon-to-be 30-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down in Dallas.
"The moment that guy showed up, just watching him in workouts and how he carries himself from drill-to-drill, what he does pre-workout and post-workout to take care of his body to have that speed," quarterback Dak Prescott said this week, via the team's website. "When you throw it to him, it stands out, his speed is different from many others."
Cooks' talent has been on display since he came into the NFL with the New Orleans Saints back in 2014. He's been productive in each of his previous four NFL stops that includes helping the Patriots get to the Super Bowl in 2017. Cooks has put up 1,000-yard seasons for each franchise he has played for prior to coming to Dallas. He has six 1,000 seasons in all and is less than 1,400 yards away from becoming the 53rd player in NFL history with 10,000 career receiving yards.
Cooks CeeDee Lamb. In the early '90s, another speedy wideout, Alvin Harper, was the perfect complement for another No. 88, Michael Irvin. In fact, it was Harper's 70-yard catch late in the 1992 NFC Championship Game that propelled the Cowboys to a win over the 49ers. In Super Bowl XXVII, it was Harper's 46-yard touchdown grab that sealed Dallas' first title in 15 years.to complementing the team's No. 1 wideout,
While Cooks' tangibles are similar to Harper's, his intangible skills are similar to what Charles Haley brought to the Cowboys upon his arrival in 1992. A former Defensive Player of the Year with the 49ers, Haley showed his new teammates what it was like to practice on a championship-caliber level. Haley's presence played an integral role in Dallas becoming the first franchise to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.
Based on Prescott's comments, Cooks is making a similar impact now.
"He's already been helping CeeDee," Prescott said. "Helping the young guys, playing cornerback to teach them the little nuances of route-running. It's gonna be huge for me and huge for the room."
Whether or not Cooks will help the Cowboys end their Super Bowl drought is yet to be seen. One thing that is already clear, however, is that his presence will be felt in Dallas his season, both on the field and in the locker room.
"Honestly if I have any questions, the first moment he stepped in, he said to ask and be open with him," Lamb said of Cooks. "In a situation like this, he can still run, he can still move, he's very explosive. It's good to have him a part of this team. [Cooks brings] excitement, speed. And of course that veteran leadership, you can't have too much of it."