The Dallas Cowboys are in the playoffs but will need the offense to awaken to advance deep into January.
The Cowboys haven't taken advantage of its defense forcing a cavalcade of turnovers, compiling 75 total points the past three weeks and allowing opponents to keep games closer than they ought to be. Dallas has too often settled for field goals, generating just six touchdowns in its last 18 red-zone trips.
"I got to be honest, it actually does," he said. "Because, yeah, we're winning, but the defense is playing a huge part in that. We're not really as explosive as we should be. We're not converting a lot of their turnovers into touchdowns. A lot of them are field goals. And I feel like I could be a huge part of that, so that's what frustrates me.
"I think I can do more in the red zone if I get some targets. I can do more on third down if I get the targets. To help the offense be what we need to be, I think I can definitely help change that."
Cooper missed two games in November on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Since his return, the star receiver has seen just 14 targets, catching nine for 100 yards and one TD. For the season, Cooper has recorded 70-plus yards in just two games; he had nine games of 70 or more yards in each of the past two years.
The Cowboys' offense has been inconsistent since Dak Prescott returned from his calf injury. In the first six games of the season, the Cowboys averaged 460.8 yards and 34 points. In the seven games since, they've put up 351.7 yards and 25 points per game.
On Sunday night, Dallas faces a rematch with Washington. The Cowboys' Week 14 win over their division rivals epitomized the offense's struggles. After sprinting to a 24-0 lead, the offense put up just a single field goal in the second half, and a Prescott pick-6 gave Washington a chance to steal the game. Dallas held on for a 27-20 win in what could have been a blowout.
In Week 16, the Cowboys will attempt to get back on track on offense. And that starts with getting Cooper more involved.