While admitting the loss of Amari Cooper hurt the team against the Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones managed Tuesday to find some positives in the standout wide receiver's time on the COVID list.
Cooper, who is not vaccinated and is subjected to stringent COVID-19 testing protocols put in place by the NFL, tested positive for the virus in the days leading up to the team's game against the Chiefs and was placed on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list.
Because Cooper is not vaccinated, he's automatically out for 10 days, meaning he would not only miss the Kansas City Chiefs game but the Thanksgiving Day game against the Raiders.
The Cowboys struggled against the Chiefs Sunday and failed to produce an offensive touchdown. The offensive woes were compounded when wide receiver CeeDee Lamb left the game after suffering a blow to the head in the end zone.
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With Lamb's status unclear for Thursday and Cooper definitely out, the Cowboys face another uphill offensive battle this week.
Owner Jerry Jones, during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ Show, expressed some disappointment in Cooper being unavailable, saying Cooper had no symptoms and wouldn't have been tested for COVID-19 if he'd been vaccinated. Jones added it's likely Cooper would have played against the Chiefs and Raiders.
Jones added that vaccinated players are allowed to return to the team more quickly after a positive test, but those who are not vaccinated are out for a minimum of 10 days even if they test negative.
"It's very punitive to get the COVID if you're not vaccinated in the NFL," Jones said. "We're going through a classic case of how it would have been different vaccinated."
Jones walked a line, saying it's a person's right to choose whether or not to be vaccinated while admitting losing Cooper for two games hurt the team.
"The facts are, it is a 'we thing' when you walk into the locker room and anybody is being counted on to pull his weight," Jones said. "The point is, this popped us. This did pop us."
Even though his No. 1 receiver is off the field for at least two games, Jones managed to find the silver lining saying that at least now Cooper has had the virus and is unlikely to get it again later in the season and that he's also had two weeks to rest his aggravated hamstring -- which Jones said he probably wouldn't have had otherwise.
Cooper is on his second year of a five-year, $100 million contract signed in March 2020 and is in his fourth season in Dallas. In nine games so far this year, Cooper has 44 receptions for 583 yards and five touchdowns.
Skip to 9:15 below to hear Jones' comments on Cooper.