STILLWATER – An Oklahoma State wideout recorded one of the top-10 reception seasons in Cowboys history in 2010, establishing himself as a playmaker and landing a spot on the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.
Who knew? Exactly.
Should know, with Cooper's statistics readily available in various places. Yet with Justin Blackmon drawing major coverage – in the news and on the field – Cooper often gets overlooked.
“I've never understood why he gets zero pub,” said Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden. “It blows my mind that people don't talk about him. It's tough when you've got No. 81 (Blackmon), but Josh Cooper could be a No. 1 guy for three-fourths of the schools across the country.”
Just in the Big 12, a pass-happy league, Cooper's 68 catches were more than the leading receiver from six schools. That total, while coming as the secondary option to Blackmon, ranks No. 7 all-time at OSU.
“You know if it's man-to-man coverage Coop's going to be open,” Weeden said. “He doesn't bust assignments. He runs great routes. He's got great hands. He's tough.
“You name it, he does it. He's a special player.”
And he's especially suited for the slot, where his 5-foot-11 height isn't a drawback, and he can use his speed and quickness to beat safeties and linebackers.
It sure hasn't taken new Cowboys offensive coordinator Todd Monken long to appreciate Cooper's assets.
“Coop's really good,” Monken said. “He's an excellent route runner, good in space, can separate from defenders. He has an unbelievable role playing in the slot. It just makes him that much of a better player.
“And he likes playing football. And he's fun to be around. And he's competitive…”
And Monken seemed to want to go on and on.