Cowboys' Amari Cooper (knee) hopeful to play Sunday

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A short week isn't getting any easier for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper underwent an MRI on his knee Wednesday, coach Jason Garrett said, and did not practice Thursday. The receiver was instead visiting with team doctors, Garrett added.

Cooper suffered the knee injury during the Cowboys' 37-18 win over the New York Giants on Monday night and has one less day to get right before facing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Arlington.

Cooper is as important to this Dallas offense as he's been since he arrived at the trade deadline in 2018. Through eight games in 2019, his numbers are nearly identical to his production in Dallas' final nine games last season: 701 receiving yards (725 in 2018), six touchdowns (six) and 42 receptions (53). In fact, he's been slightly better in 2019, averaging three more yards per reception than he did over the similar stretch last season.

As a result, Dak Prescott currently owns his second-best passer rating of his career at 102.5, completing a career-high 69.6 percent of his passes for 2,380 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Though this season still has eight games left to play, it's evident that a full season of Cooper is having a positive effect on Prescott.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, are 5-3 and currently sit in first in an NFC East that is clearly a two-team race between them and the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4). With the division race as close as it is, Dallas can't afford a subpar offensive performance. A Cooper absence wouldn't help that.

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