Fifth-year wide receiver Noah Brown came into training camp with some work to do. Coming off a season where he caught just 14 passes for 154 yards, the former seventh-round pick wasn’t a sure lock for a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Dallas has four guarantees at the wide receiver position on their roster. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson. There were some questions coming into the camp about Wilson being a true “lock” to make the final 53, but after two preseason games, the 25-year-old has shown he is going nowhere.
This pass by Garrett Gilbert... is perfect.— NFL (@NFL) August 14, 2021
: #DALvsAZ on @NFLNetwork (or check local listings)
: https://t.co/xnJMihfsxy pic.twitter.com/oa09YOmerH
After those four, Brown and two others players, Malik Turner and rookie Simi Fehoko, seem to be battling for the WR5, and potentially WR6 position on the roster.
Turner, who hauled in 245 receiving yards during the 2019 season (more than Brown has in his entire career), has been very productive during camp and preseason game action. The 25-year-old wideout has caught seven passes for 77 yards in two games.
Dak Prescott scrambles to his right and finds WR Malik Turner pic.twitter.com/YR1cmiUbt6— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 22, 2021
Turner did suffer an injury in the second half against the Cardinals, the severity of which could greatly impact his chances to make the 53-man roster.
Malik Turner needs some assistance after that incomplete ball to the end zone.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 14, 2021
He seems to be walking alright, might've just been shaken up. But hey enough of this injury stuff, this sucks.
Rookie fifth-round pick Simi Fehoko has also shown some flashes this preseason. After recording just one reception in the Hall of Fame Game, the rookie had a much stronger performance last night against Arizona. Fehoko caught three passes for 28 yards, including the impressive catch in heavy traffic below.
➡️ 8️⃣1️⃣ #EarnTheStar #DALvsAZ | Watch now on @NFLNetwork (or check your local listings) pic.twitter.com/j4vE3YoplB— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 14, 2021
Brown has been much less impressive in game action than Turner and Fehoko. The former Ohio State Buckeye has caught just two passes for 13 yards in 35 preseason snaps. Through two games, Brown’s PFF offensive grade of 59.6 is lower than both Turner’s (65.1) and Fehoko’s (63.4).
One thing Brown does have going for him is he’s a heck of a special teams player. During his four years in Dallas, Brown has played a total of 492 special teams snaps, averaging an impressive 76.2 special teams grade, according to PFF.
Despite being unimpressive in both preseason games, Brown is still likely the favorite for the WR5 spot on the roster, but this certainly does not mean he’s guaranteed to win the job.
Mike McCarthy’s staff didn’t draft Brown, and he may not be as beloved by this coaching staff as he was by Jason Garrett’s. This staff may feel that Brown has hit his ceiling as a receiver in the league, and might opt for Turner or Fehoko who seem to have more upside.
The next two weeks are going to be extremely important for Noah Brown. At the current moment, he probably still has a spot on the 53-man roster. If he wants to keep it that way, he’s got plenty of work to do.