The Cowboys rookie will be thrown into the fire early.
Tolbert didn’t play football until his sophomore year in high school. He was more of a baseball player, like Thompson, and even attended a private workout for the Rangers held in Atlanta. But he got hooked on football, jokingly saying he had more trouble with the slider than the curveball. He caught 14 passes for 135 yards as a junior in high school. As a senior, with Thompson as his quarterback, he caught 37 passes for 696 yards and nine touchdowns, making it all the way to the State 7A Championship.
He was far from a sure-fire prospect. He received interest from Michigan State but chose to stay close to home at South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference. In four years, he set school records in receptions (178), yards (3,140), touchdown receptions (22) and 100-yard games (10).
It is work he started with Thompson and continues now that has gotten him to this point. At the Cowboys’ recent rookie orientation, he was the last player to leave the field, catching passes off the Jugs machine.
“I feel like you’ve got to do more than everybody else if you want to be higher or better than everybody else,” Tolbert said. “You’re to get what you put in, basically, so get 1% better every day. I’m looking to put in the extra work so that it can come back to me on the back end.”
What draft pick DaRon Bland can bring to the team.
What’s Next: Getting drafted is one thing, but making an impact, especially at this position won’t easy. Don’t forget this part when evaluating the Cowboys cornerbacks – they drafted two last year that really didn’t have a big impact on this team. And so the Cowboys are still looking to find ways to get both Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright on the field more than just special teams. Throw Bland into the mix and it won’t be easy for him. But here’s the thing about cornerbacks – if they can play, there’s always a spot. And if they can play well on defense AND provide some production on special teams, there will definitely be a spot – not just on the team, but on the gameday roster.
Bet You Didn’t Know: Before his standout season at Fresno State, Bland spent three years at Sacramento State, where he was an All-Big Sky performer in both football and track. He competed in the long jump, high jump, triple jump, as well as running the 100 and 200 meters.
Quotable: ””It helped me a lot with speed and everything, especially at my position. You’ve got to have the speed because receivers and some running backs have the speed too. You’ve got to be able to keep up in this game.” – DaRon Bland on using his track experience on the football field.
The fanbase may not have liked it, but the Cowboys executed their strategy this offseason.
Retaining Gallup and Schultz, while losing Cooper was the biggest part of the offseason plan for the Cowboys at the skill positions on offense. The organization probably would’ve liked to keep Cedrick Wilson as well, but he was in high demand and the Cowboys weren’t going to pay the cost to bring him back.
Otherwise, the Cowboys kept the receiving options they wanted to retain and got rid of the player that was deemed too expensive to keep. It played out how the Cowboys imagined it, the team is paying two players for the price of one.
In the draft, the Cowboys covered themselves by drafting South Alabama wide receiver Jalen Tolbert in the third round and tight end Jake Ferguson in the fourth to ensure the team has depth. Both rookie additions should be solid contributors in the near future, but neither are as good as Gallup or Schultz yet.
The strategy and reasoning has been debated, and it has been argued the team could’ve kept all three, but the organization didn’t see it that way. The Cowboys have put their faith in Dalton Schultz and Michael Gallup for the near future. Only time will tell if the team made a wise decision, but it’s clear Dallas executed their plan.
Can this Cowboys 2021 draft pick finally make an impact?
When the Dallas Cowboys selected Stanford WR Simi Fehoko with the 179th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, draft geeks took notice. The 6-foot-4, 222lb. pass-catcher had become a draftnik darling last draft cycle and in the fifth round he seemed a bona fide steal.
Fehoko’s 4.43 speed and 6.78 3-cone were oddities for a man his size. Despite his poor route-running and questionable coverage recognition, he had a tantalizing skillset upon which to build. He was the ideal pick for a team willing and able to take the time and develop.
At 25-years-old, Simi is not your typical second year player. After taking two years off for his LDS mission, Fehoko entered college late. He red-shirted his first season at Stanford but made his presence felt in year two, catching 24 balls for 556 yards and setting a school record with his 23.6 yards/reception.
The Dallas Cowboys are hoping a similar career arch follows Simi Fehoko in his professional career. 2021 was a year of redshirting for Fohoko. The unpolished route-runner had to start from square one with the Dallas Cowboys, learning coverages, technique, and hand placement.
How one of the Cowboys opponent's media view the team.
Have the Cowboys improved their roster this offseason? It is difficult to say.
The Cowboys have lost a couple of important players — wide receiver Amari Cooper and tackle La’el Collins.
They will be hoping draft picks Tyler Smith and Jalen Tolbert can help replace them.
Dallas was able to re-sign some key players like wide receiver Michael Gallup.
Overall, it hasn’t been a bad offseason for the Cowboys, who should remain competitive in the NFC.
Last meeting with Packers
October 6, 2019: Packers won 34-24 at AT&T Stadium
Player to watch
Trevon Diggs: Diggs was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler last season after making an incredible 21 pass defenses and 11 interceptions. According to Pro Football Reference, Diggs allowed a passer rating of just 55.8 in his coverage.
Will Aaron Rodgers test Diggs in this game, and which receiver will he cover the most?
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