He was officially listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game on Wednesday.
Cooper, who missed the past two games while on the reserve/COVID-19 list, was activated by the team Wednesday. On Tuesday coach Mike McCarthy, who will not coach Thursday because he is in the COVID protocols, said Cooper is “still not feeling the best” and has a cough, although speaking on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, owner and general manager Jerry Jones was confident Cooper would be available.
Cooper is expected to test his conditioning in Wednesday’s practice before the team flies to New Orleans, and how much he plays is unknown with him not having played since Nov. 14 and not having practiced fully in more than two weeks.
With Cooper expected to play, Dak Prescott will have his top two wide receivers against the Saints with CeeDee Lamb returning after not playing on Thanksgiving against the Las Vegas Raiders because of a concussion. But the Cowboys will be without receiver Cedrick Wilson, who has played a larger role in the absences of Lamb, Cooper and Michael Gallup this season, as he was ruled out Wednesday because of an ankle injury.
Starting right tackle Terence Steele and cornerback Nahshon Wright were placed on the COVID list earlier this week and are out. In addition to McCarthy, the Cowboys will also be without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith against the Saints.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will serve as the Cowboys’ interim coach for Thursday’s game.
After minimal COVID issues last season, the Cowboys have been hit much harder this season. Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin missed the season opener on the COVID list. Linebacker Keanu Neal and Cooper, who were the only two unvaccinated players on the 53-man roster, missed two games apiece on the COVID list. Defensive end Randy Gregory, kicker Greg Zuerlein, guard Brandon Knight and defensive end Bradlee Anae also missed games while on the list.