When the season kicks off for the Cowboys, much of the attention will be focused on their potent wide receiver corps. Yes, the three-headed monster of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup put up 2,892 total yards and 15 touchdowns last year as they caught passes from four different quarterbacks. Expectations for the trio will undoubtedly be sky high this, year as they should be.
But they’re not the only receivers on this roster who could turn heads. In his two seasons as offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore has shown a proclivity for getting other guys involved in the wide receiver rotation beyond his top three. In 2019, Tavon Austin tallied 24 targets on the year; last year, Cedrick Wilson Jr. saw 28 targets while Noah Brown got 24 targets. In other words, being the fourth/fifth/sixth best receiver on this team doesn’t automatically relegate you to the bench permanently.
Enter Simi Fehoko, the only offensive skill player the Cowboys drafted this year. Coming out of Stanford, Fehoko is a big-bodied, big-play machine. At 6’4” and 222 pounds, he was largely utilized as a deep threat in 2019, when he averaged 23.6 yards per reception. The 2020 season was supposed to be the year Fehoko broadened his route tree and became a go-to target, but the shortened season prevented that from happening. Still, Fehoko caught 37 passes for 574 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per catch.
That lack of a true breakout season is why Fehoko didn’t come off the board until late in the fifth round, but the Cowboys were more than willing to take advantage of the opportunity. The first thing that came to mind for many fans when Fehoko was drafted was the precarious short-term future of this receiving corps. Gallup is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and is likely going to price himself out of Dallas’ range. Cooper’s contract also has a potential out after 2021, if Dallas decides they’d rather keep the younger Gallup. Either way, with Lamb almost certainly getting top dollar in a couple of years, it seems highly unlikely that the Cowboys can afford to keep all three. In other words, Fehoko was (probably) drafted to replace Gallup or Cooper in 2022.
All the more reason to get Fehoko some targets in the receiver rotation this year, and that’s where he can really make a good impression. It would make sense for Fehoko to be used as a deep threat-type of receiver in situational packages, not unlike Brice Butler back in the day. For those who remember, Butler averaged roughly 27 catches a season - in line with what others have been doing under Moore’s watch - and averaged 18.5 yards per reception during that time. For Fehoko, who already specialized in that area in college, this role would be a good way to get him acclimated to the NFL before potentially having to take on a bigger role next year.
Of course, nothing will just be given to Fehoko. He’ll have to earn it, but his rare combination of size and athleticism makes Fehoko a prime candidate to turn heads left and right when facing second- and third-stringers in training camp and the preseason. It may not be time yet to start drafting Fehoko in your fantasy leagues, but don’t count him out from contributing to the team right off the bat.
We have a film breakdown on Simi Fehoko available on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!