The Cowboys’ trade of Amari Cooper to Cleveland for a fifth-round pick brought question marks at the receiver position in Dallas heading toward the 2022 season.
Those questions have only been exacerbated with Michael Gallup‘s continued rehab from an ACL tear — he’s already said he won’t be ready by Week 1 — and free-agent addition James Washington‘s recent fractured foot that will keep him out 6-10 weeks.
As of now, the Cowboys’ receiver corps is CeeDee Lamb and a bunch of young question marks.
While there might be consternation about the Cowboys’ situation outside the locker room, quarterback Dak Prescott dismissed any worry.
“You’re never going to catch me looking at anything in my life as a step back. You’ve got an opportunity to move forward, you’ve got an opportunity to grow. If you don’t do that, you’re in trouble and you’ve already lost to begin with,” Prescott said, via the team’s official website. “I just know, the young guys that we’ve got, the guys that we already have are going to step in and take on bigger roles. I continue to say exciting, but that’s what it is. And the reason is, is because I feel like a lot of you — and people don’t know necessarily — what these guys are, what these guys can do.”
With Gallup and Washington on the shelf, third-round receiver Jalen Tolbert has flashed potential in camp. Undrafted rookie Dennis Houston out of Western Illinois has also seen snaps with the starting group.
Prescott was reticent to single out a receiver he believes will step up, but he mentioned the two rookies have impressed thus far.
“A lot of young guys have stepped up. Just to say one would be cheating the other,” Prescott said. “But obviously Dennis Houston and Tolbert, just to start off on who have been in there and taken more reps. You’re asking ‘hey, give us an X, give us a Z,’ just coming in, just trying to play whatever position and be available to the offense. That’s how you get on the field, doing as many things as you can and doing it at a high level. That’s what these young guys are doing right now.”
Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko and T.J. Vasher are also vying for reps among Cowboys receivers.
Owner Jerry Jones recently dismissed the idea of adding a veteran receiver at this stage, noting he wants to give the young players a chance to show they can earn snaps.
With Dallas kicking off preseason action next Saturday, Aug. 13, against Denver, we’ll get our first look at how the Cowboys plan to use their young wideouts as we track toward regular-season action.