Advertisement

Mike McCarthy on Brandin Cooks' limited role: I don't play fantasy football

The Cowboys traded for Brandin Cooks in the offseason to be their No. 2 receiver. Noah Brown had that role last season with Michael Gallup still coming back from a knee injury.

Brown had almost as many yards (153) for the Texans on Sunday as Cooks has this season (165).

Cooks is fifth on the team in receptions (17) and yards, third among wideouts behind CeeDee Lamb and Gallup.

After Cooks made only one reception on two targets for 7 yards in Sunday's 28-23 loss to the Eagles, coach Mike McCarthy was asked about Cooks' role or lack thereof.

Nothing happened,” McCarthy, who doubles as the play-caller, said, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “He was a big part of the production. We had a tremendous amount of production in the pass game and Brandin and all the guys are part of that. I get it. You want to see the ball spread out to everybody, which it was. Anytime a guy comes up short, you want to see him get more targets and more opportunities. He’s as good of a pro as I’ve worked with and we’ll definitely focus on that moving forward. But he’s still part of that production.”

McCarthy did not appreciate the continued line of questioning about Cooks, who is on pace for a career-worst season.

“I don’t play fantasy football,” McCarthy said. “We have game plans, and I think it’s important and this is a challenge for guys because our system is built on making the quarterback successful. That’s the way this passing game is taught. It’s the way I’ve learned it. It’s the way it has always been the last 30 years.”

Cooks was wide open in the end zone on the fourth-and-goal play where rookie tight end Luke Schoonmaker ended up a foot short of the end zone.

Cooks, who missed one game with a knee injury, is averaging career lows with 2.4 receptions per game, 23.6 yards per game and 9.7 yards per reception despite playing 71 percent of the snaps. The Cowboys traded for him, they said, to give them a deep threat, but his longest reception is 25 yards.