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Brandin Cooks on leading Texans to Week 18 win: “You never suit up to lose”

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze the Texans' move to send Brandin Cooks to the Cowboys for a 2023 fifth-round pick and 2024 sixth-round pick and assess what impact he’ll have in Dallas.

In one sense, the Week 18 game between the Texans and Colts was meaningless, as both teams had long since been eliminated from playoff contention. But the Texans’ win handed the Bears the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, and in that sense it may prove to be a very impactful game in shaping the future of multiple NFL teams, including the Texans, Colts, Bears and Panthers.

For Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks, there was no thought of helping Houston get the No. 1 pick. Cooks says everyone in the Texans’ locker room wanted to win that game and was thrilled with the comeback win.

“Well, you never suit up to lose, right?” Cooks said on Adam Schefter’s podcast, via the Dallas Morning News. “And so you know that No. 1 pick is out there but at the end of the day you go out between those white lines you’re putting out your resume, so as a competitor you’re not going out there saying ‘I’m not going to give them my all because I want the Texans to have the No. 1 pick.’ You go out there, you give it your all and let the chips fall where they fall and they just happen to be one of those situations where it was a nail bitter and most people were probably like, ‘Wait, why are you guys winning?’ We don’t play to lose, at least from a player’s standpoint.”

Cooks was the Texans’ leading receiver in the game, with five catches for 106 yards, including a 30-yard catch on fourth-and-12 that kept the Texans’ game-winning drive alive. Some Texans fans may have preferred to lose that game, but Bears fans were thrilled that Cooks played so well, and Panthers fans may some day see that game as vital to their team’s ability to trade up and take a franchise quarterback. Cooks and his teammates played to win that day, as they should have, and it made a big difference in the NFL.