Offseason ankle surgery could limit Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper when training camp gets underway. While it is not considered to be a serious problem, it does open up the door for some of Dallas’ younger pass catchers to receive more practice time, and that could actually prove to be beneficial both for them and the Cowboys.
If you’re looking for a silver lining in an injury situation, then the ability for the younger receivers to shine is it. Cooper should be fine by the time the 2021 season kicks off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but until then his being limited could be a blessing in disguise.
In a normal training camp, with everybody healthy, younger depth players wouldn’t likely receive as much practice time as they would when someone ahead of them on the depth chart is injured or limited. That’s exactly the situation with Cooper and a lot of the undrafted free agent receivers find themselves in now. It’s a situation definitely worth monitoring.
Young WRs to watch in training…
- No. 6 Johnnie Dixon (5’11”, 198)
- No. 83 Brennan Eagles (6’3”, 230)
- No. 81 Simi Fehoko (6’3” 220)
- No. 16 Stephen Guidry (6’4”, 200)
- No. 14 Osirus Mitchell (6’5”, 206)
- No. 18 Aaron Parker (6’3”, 208)
- No. 80 Brandon Smith (6’2”, 220)
- No. 17 Malik Turner (6’2”, 202)
- No. 15 T.J. Vasher (6’5”, 210)
This could be a fun group to watch from practice to practice as the Cowboys training camp progresses and we get further into preseason games before final roster cuts have to be made. Sadly, though, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if none of these players earn a roster spot.
Odds are the Cowboys won’t carry more than five wide receivers on the roster this year. With Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and probably Cedrick Wilson all but assured of a spot, that leaves just one up for grabs and that could be Noah Brown’s job to lose right now.
With Cooper potentially limited or on a pitch count in training camp while he continues to recover from ankle surgery, the above-mentioned young receivers could receive more of an opportunity to prove themselves than they normally would have. Again, Cooper’s injury could “potentially” be a blessing in disguise.
It’s a long shot any of these receivers will play any kind of significant role with the Cowboys in 2021, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. With Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, and Noah Brown slated to become free agents at the season’s end, any one of these young WRs could become part of the Cowboys passing game as soon as next year.
It’s something to keep in mind when these practices air on HBO’s Hard Knocks and when you watch the Cowboys preseason games. Many of us would prefer to remain in the present and focus on what Dallas is capable of this year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Just some food for thought.