One of the more intriguing roster battles occurring in Oxnard, California is at the wide receiver position for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are looking to take the passing offense to the next level with Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna, and there is a large group of pass catchers looking to earn roster spots with America’s Team this August.
There are three locks at the position: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb. Cooper, of course, is negotiating a long-term deal with the Cowboys, but he has been participating in all five of the Cowboys practices thus far. Gallup is the second-year wideout that looks primed for a big sophomore season. Cobb is the veteran free agent acquisition that should provide Dak Prescott a reliable target in the slot.
The remaining receivers that will be on September 1st’s 53-man roster appear to be in question. All have their pros and cons, which makes it a little difficult to predict who will and will not make the team. Tavon Austin flashes big play potential, but injuries and Tony Pollard have his future in Dallas in doubt. Noah Brown is one of the better blockers, but lacks the explosiveness needed. Lance Lenoir hasn’t been able to get over the hump from practice squad to the 53-man roster. Jon’Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton are both UDFA rookies who have shown exciting flashes, but haven’t proven anything in a game-setting. Although as we noted earlier today, Johnson is surely flashing his potential at training camp.
Another longshot receiver is former Georgia Bulldogs wideout Reggie Davis. Davis, an undrafted free agent in 2017, has spent time with the Falcons, Eagles, and Cowboys practice squad since entering the league, but has made some head-turning plays during the first few practices of 2019 training camp.
The thing that jumps out about Davis is legit speed. Davis is fast enough to fly by defensive backs and create the separation needed for the quarterback to get the ball to him. Dak Prescott has had some success finding Davis.
Dak just dropped a DEEEEEEP ball right in Reggie Davis’ hands.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 1, 2019
Dak Prescott was sharp in his first full-padded practice, completed 13 of 17 passes in team and seven-on-seven drills. His best throw was a second-window throw down the field to Reggie Davis in seven on seven. His biggest gain was on a fake reverse... https://t.co/cluUiubeEm— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) July 30, 2019
Davis was used as both a return man and a receiver during his four-year career in Athens with the Bulldogs. The Tallahassee, Florida native clocked in a 4.31 40-yard dash during Georgia’s Pro Day back in 2017.
It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are hoping to become more dynamic and more explosive on offense this season. Moore is installing wrinkles that should get weapons open in space and Kitna is working with Prescott to improve mechanics and accuracy. The offense improved after trading for Amari Cooper, but the expectation is that the unit will take the next step in 2019.
This is where Davis could potentially come in. He has real speed that is evident during each practice as he blows by defensive backs in both one-on-one and 7-on-7 situations. Separation is more important than it has ever been, and Davis appears to have the ability to create just that:
Only got the tail end but check the separation created by Reggie Davis. #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/EBd1Pj2pVY— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 1, 2019
And for the second straight day, Reggie Davis is running past DBs— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) July 30, 2019
Obviously, there is a lot more that goes into an NFL wide receiver than just speed, but it is clear that Davis is looking like he belongs so far in practice. He keeps making plays when his name is called, which is absolutely essential for a guy battling for one of the last few spots on the team.
Dak to Reggie Davis pic.twitter.com/lPwnY7vpYU— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 30, 2019
Candidate for play of the day on Monday... Cooper Rush to Reggie Davis pic.twitter.com/yJfAwE4ViZ— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 29, 2019
It is still too early to say that Reggie Davis will make the 53-man roster, but he is making an impact thus far through training camp. With the uncertainty of the final few receiver spots, Davis has a chance to be right in the thick of things until the final cut.
Seems like Reggie Davis, Jalen Guyton and Jon'Vea Johnson are all having really good starts to camp.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) July 30, 2019
Competition for last couple WR spots will be fun.