Amari Cooper pulls in TD catch in debut, but Cowboys lose

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It didn't take long for Amari Cooper to make an impact for the Dallas Cowboys.

Not even a quarter.

Cooper caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott on a pivot route with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead over the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.

He finished with 5 catches on 8 targets for 58 yards as the Cowboys lost 28-14.

"I think I had a couple of things to improve on as far as getting my depth on my routes and stuff like that, but overall for my first game, being here about two weeks, I think it was an all-right performance," Cooper said. "But we still came up short of a victory, so as a whole we have a lot to improve on."

On the second play from scrimmage, Cooper caught an 11-yard pass from Prescott for a first down. He was targeted one other time on the first drive of the game, but Prescott's fade route in the end zone landed out of bounds.

The Cowboys acquired Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 20 for a 2019 first-round pick. He had two brief practices during the Cowboys' bye week and had a full three practices in preparation for the Titans. In between, he and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal met at a park in the Bay Area to go over the Cowboys' offense.

From head coach Jason Garrett to offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to Prescott, the Cowboys lauded Cooper's ability to pick up the offense quickly. He lined up mostly wide to his left, but he also lined up wide right, in the slot to the right and tight to the offensive line on the left. They even faked a jet sweep to Cooper.

"There was nothing mentally that he struggled with," Garrett said. "He did a great job working the past week and a half trying to understand what we're asking him to do. He didn't seem to have any issue there, and then he made some plays in the game ... He and Dak were on the same page throughout."

On the third drive, Prescott got a little greedy in looking to Cooper in the end zone on a crossing route. He was double-covered and safety Kevin Byard came down with the interception in the end zone with 3:30 to play in the first quarter.

Byard ran to the midfield star, a la Terrell Owens years ago when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, and danced, which riled a number of Cowboys defenders as they were going on the field.

After catching 3 passes for 30 yards on 5 passes thrown in his direction in the first half, Cooper caught 2 passes for 18 yards on 3 passes thrown his way in the second half.

"I thought we did a very good job of showing his ability to basically create opportunities, and I thought we used him really effectively," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "And glad to have seen him ... Other than not winning the ballgame, I was not disappointed in how Amari played tonight. He didn't disappoint as to his expectations for me."