Noah Brown has been one of the more intriguing topics of discussion for the Dallas Cowboys during training camp and the preseason. The former Ohio State wide receiver was selected by America’s Team in the seventh-round of April’s draft and has shown the potential of developing into a productive receiver for the Cowboys.
But with limited roster spots, should the Cowboys elect to keep Brown on the 53-man roster, or will the team decide to place him on the practice squad with the risk of another team swooping in and adding him to their own roster?
Recently, the BTB staff got together and selected our own predictions of what the 53-man roster will look like come the cut down day on September 2nd. Most of the roster had the same predictions, but Danny Phantom and myself disagreed with the other front page writers when it came to the wide receiver position.
Here is my own stance on why the Cowboys should opt to keep their seventh-round draft pick out of Ohio State:
You have to keep him. He has the talent and the potential to develop into a reliable wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. He possesses the size (6-foot-2, 220+) needed to battle with the bigger defensive backs across the division for jump balls, has shown reliable hands during the preseason, and seems to be a player with a high ceiling. His frame allows him to box out defenders, and he showed that he is a willing blocker during his collegiate career. Brown definitely can grow into another big red zone target for Dak Prescott. If you choose to cut him to place him on practice squad, you risk the chance of another team taking a chance on the Ohio State product. If it comes down to keeping Moore as the third quarterback or Brown as the sixth receiver, I believe you go with the latter. While carrying six receivers may be a lot, Brown looks to be worth the investment.
Danny, who has Brown as one of his three players to make the roster while Zeke, David Irving, and Damontre Moore each serve their respective suspensions, offers up his explanation on why he believes Dallas would be smart to have Brown on the roster:
The Cowboys want Brown on this team, whether it’s now or later. Even though the team had five other WRs they liked, that didn’t stop them from drafting him. He may have been more of a development project at first, but his progress is indicating he could be exactly what they’re hoping for. Sure, roster spots are precious, but the Cowboys are in the business of retaining the young talent they like and if a surprise veteran is cut (Kellen Moore or Bryon Bell), they could end up with an extra spot.
We aren’t the only two pounding the table for the Cowboys to make this move, either:
If I'm the coaching staff, I'm starting to think I need to find a way to keep Rush & Noah Brown. Sounds like a tall order, tho.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 20, 2017
Marcus Mosher doesn’t believe Brown will make it to the practice squad, either. This is something that may factor into the staff’s final decision on what to do with their rookie receiver.
3. It's going to be interesting to see what the #Cowboys do with Noah Brown. My gut tells me he won't make it through waivers.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) August 24, 2017
Brown simply has the tools and the talent to realistically grow into a stud for the Cowboys. The 6-foot-2 and 222 pound big-bodied wide receiver knows how to use his frame to box out opponents for jump balls, something that comes in handy when in the red zone. It also helps that Brown showed to be a willing blocker throughout his collegiate career. That certainly cannot hurt when battling for a roster spot.
Not too long ago, our own RJ Ochoa wrote on the possibility of keeping Brown. Here are his thoughts on the subject:
There might not be a bigger contingency of Noah Brown enthusiasts than that within the hallowed halls of BTB. A catch for 19 yards and six points fanned those flames during the win over the Colts.
There was a lot to like about what Noah Brown did during the game. His size is hard to ignore in the redzone, and even harder to stop defensively, which is what led to his touchdown. The obstacle for him remains whether or not the Cowboys will carry six wide receivers, and neither Andy Jones nor Lance Lenoir are doing much to challenge Brown for that would-be job.
As Ochoa goes on to mention, though, is that giving out six roster spots to wide receivers may be more than the coaching staff would like in the end. Dez, T-Will, Beasley, Butler, and Ryan Switzer are all guaranteed to make the cut, so would the staff feel comfortable in spending another spot on the position? It remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, Brown has certainly been catching the eyes of people throughout the preseason. In fact, SportsDay’s Jon Machota named him the “Rookie Surprise” of training camp for the ‘Boys:
Rookie surprise: Noah Brown
The seventh-round-pick made some nice plays in individual drills and seemed to make the most of his opportunities during limited work with the first-team offense. Brown could make the 53-man roster if the Cowboys decide to keep six wide receivers. If not, the Cowboys would love to get him on their practice squad.
Brown has been making the case for the Cowboys to keep six wideouts on the roster. He made this highlight against the Rams earlier this August:
Quick tunnel screen to Noah Brown @Nb_Eight5 for a nice gain and finish on the RAC. #spreadoffense #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/687XNdeROc— SpreadOffense.com (@SpreadOffense) August 23, 2017
Here was his touchdown grab in the Cowboys’ third preseason game last Saturday:
Cooper Rush to Noah Brown for the TD! #INDvsDAL pic.twitter.com/lbwyjCqAlD— ✭Cowboys News✭ (@DemBoyz_News) August 20, 2017
He’s been impressing in practice, too:
Noah Brown pic.twitter.com/LKs9R9e8Ew— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 21, 2017
No video allowed, but Kellen Moore and Noah Brown just connected on a pretty sweet fade to the end zone.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 23, 2017
I like Brown's game a lot.
85 Noah Brown with a great catch in RedZone practice. pic.twitter.com/KGZgGCBCQh— Spencer Hall (@SpinnerHall) August 23, 2017
As a seventh-round pick, Brown has been progressing faster than perhaps the coaching staff expected. He has been building a legitimate case for himself to make Dallas’ 53-man roster. Despite the depth at the position, Brown has impressed all camp and preseason long.
He definitely possesses the talent and shows the potential to grow into something big for the Cowboys, making this decision on who to keep and who to send down to the practice squad tricky. Assuming that Rush has solidified a roster spot with his impressive preseason performances and it comes down to keeping Kellen Moore as the team’s third quarterback or Brown being the sixth receiver, do the Cowboys choose the latter?
The Cowboys still have two more preseason games and about two more weeks before making a decision on what to do with their talented seventh-round draft pick with a seemingly high ceiling.
What would you do?