Cooley Shakes (Off) Cowboys All Night Long
Monday, December 19, 2005
Chris Cooley wears pajamas around the Washington Redskins' practice facility in Ashburn. Well, they aren't actually pajamas. They're sweat pants masquerading as pj's. Ever since Cooley traced logos of such cheesy '80s metal bands as Quiet Riot and Poison on the fabric, they look like they belong to a wild-eyed, prepubescent kid ready for a sleepover -- rather than a wild-eyed, 23-year-old, rumbling professional football player.
"I got, like, 25 logos on them now of every '80s hair band you can think of -- AC/DC, Ozzy, all of 'em," Cooley said, as if his mother would be proud of such things.
"They're really cool, except they got stiff after a while."
"Yeah, I forgot to wash them for, like, a month."
Washington, meet the kid who did in Dallas.
Brute and brawn were a big part of last night's win at FedEx Field, where Joe Gibbs's team laid the worst beating on the Cowboys in series history. There was also boyish exuberance.
There was a young Cooley -- half fullback, half tight end, all sideburns and sugar highs. Cooley caught three touchdowns from Mark Brunell in the most dominating offensive performance since Gibbs returned in January 2004.
By the time the kid trying to grow a beard tumbled into the end zone for his third score with 12 seconds left in the first half, Dallas was indeed done. Cooley rose and tossed the ball into the stands, a pass meant for his younger brother, Tanner. He marched off to the locker room pumping his helmet and whooping and hollering, as if exhorting Quiet Riot to come out for an encore.
"This is the funnest game of my career," he said, unconcerned that funnest is not a word.
"I never scored three touchdowns before. Not at any level. This rates number one in my career. All time. Ever. Best ever."
Cooley is so green, his veteran teammate, Ray Brown, was 19 years old when he was born in 1982. At the time, Journey was actually considered a legitimate rock band.