It’s practically a tradition for the Dallas Cowboys to have a wide receiver that fans everywhere fall in love with.
Names like Miles Austin and Cole Beasley managed to find a way to actually make the 53-man roster, but projects like Danny Coale never materialized and guys like Andy Jones never even got off the ground, so to speak.
Lance Lenoir has become the latest passenger on the carousel of Cowboys receiver projects, and a year on the practice squad last year likely only made him better. Lenoir has been one of the stories of camp so far, and he even scored a sick touchdown in the first preseason game.
Touchdown, Lance Lenoir!— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 10, 2018
: @NFL pic.twitter.com/dOJYkNKBDp
Lenoir did indeed spend the 2017 season on the practice squad before getting the call up for the meaningless regular season finale in Philadelphia. Ever since then all we’ve seen of him (granted via his own social media) has been evidence of him grinding, and he’s been doing it nonstop.
Plenty of Cowboys veterans have given ringing endorsements for Lenoir, and I’m not talking about any veterans. Cole Beasley all but announced Lance as his own personal pet cat back in May and Jaylon Smith threw props his way on Instagram after the preseason touchdown. These are serious members of the Dallas Cowboys that are doing this.
Cole Beasley with a ringing endorsement for Lance Lenoir. (h/t @Bease11 IG) pic.twitter.com/HLf87MW9Iu— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) May 15, 2018
Jaylon Smith giving Lance Lenoir props is mad respect ✊ pic.twitter.com/lL2uiQX6rH— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 10, 2018
No one is saying that Beasley or Jaylon are the voices in charge of building the Cowboys 53-man roster, but they are big personalities on the team. That they continue to publicly pump up somebody who is thought to be on the bubble as far as roster construction goes says a lot.
Unlike last year at this time when he fumbled during the preseason, there hasn’t really been a point in time where Lenoir hasn’t been completely balling out for the Cowboys. Every time we look up he’s making a play or hustling his tail off. The latest instance came on Saturday.
Play of the day today in 7 on 7: Dak to Lance pic.twitter.com/ohGIcdLF2D— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 12, 2018
Last week we categorized the team’s receivers as far as likelihood to make the roster. We put Lance in the “guys who’s cases are really strong” spot, but it might be time to promote him to the definitely-making-the-roster guys.
Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, and Terrance Williams are all virtual locks to make the team. Tavon Austin will definitely be on the squad however you want to label him (RB vs. WR), but it makes sense to do so as a receiver and that makes five.
Deonte Thompson is a sixth name who seems very likely to make the team partly because the Cowboys liked him enough to sign him in free agency, and that he’s played well through camp so far when healthy. Lenoir would make seven and while that’s a lot, it’s hard to find a name to cut.
As noted there have been players like Miles Austin and Cole Beasley that took the undrafted route all the way to America’s Team, and Lenoir is seemingly on the precipice of doing so as well. If he does it would make three different receivers that failed to get drafted, signed with the Cowboys, initially wore number 14, and ultimately made the team.
Cowboys have somewhat of a tradition for undrafted wide receivers that initially wear #14 to ball out for them pic.twitter.com/hqNHOwB1NR— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 9, 2018
Maybe it’s fate.