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ESPN names lesser-known wide receiver as Cowboys surprise standout from the offseason

A vote of confidence for T.J. Vasher.

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

There has been a lot of conversation over the last few months about the state of the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver group. Just about every other story has featured Amari Cooper and his departure from the team by trade to the Cleveland Browns, but there has also been a level of hype around third-round rookie Jalen Tolbert. One of the more forgotten things that has happened has been a different departure as Cedrick Wilson left in free agency for the Miami Dolphins. All of this movement has left opportunity for other Cowboys receivers to make their mark.

Among the other receivers is Michael Gallup who is coming back from an ACL injury, but there is no real question about him at this point except when he will return. He is on ice for the moment and will be coming back at some point near the beginning of the season which is certainly what the team believes given that they gave him a big contract over the offseason.

So there is a wide receiver group of CeeDee Lamb (WR1), Michael Gallup (WR2), Jalen Tolbert (who has observers excited), Noah Brown (the hive lives on) and James Washington (the first external free agent Dallas brought in this year). But outside of the top few, nothing is set in stone.

ESPN named T.J. Vasher as the Dallas Cowboys surprise standout from the offseason

Last week, ESPN put together a 53-man roster prediction for the Cowboys and it featured those five mentioned above plus someone who wasn’t Simi Fehoko. Instead it was T.J. Vasher. We know that the Cowboys have been impressed with Vasher and ESPN actually named him as their Dallas Cowboys surprise standout over the offseason.

WR T.J. Vasher

Signed as an undrafted free agent last year, Vasher did not practice because of a knee injury, but he has used this offseason to get himself into the receiver conversation. With Michael Gallup working through knee rehab and CeeDee Lamb, James Washington and Noah Brown missing time with minor injuries, Vasher got a lot of work in the OTAs and minicamp. “He’s made some really big-time flash plays, splash plays,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s had some really, particularly in the red zone, which you can see his ability down there. Big plays in scramble drills and things like that. I just think like any young player, particularly in his development, it’s getting the details of the everyday situations.” — Todd Archer

The current state of the Cowboys receiver group has allowed an opportunity for someone like Vasher to make a name for himself. So often making an NFL roster comes down not just to opportunity but what you do with it, although you have to have the chance to take advantage of it.

This is a very interesting situation to watch as training camp draws closer. The fifth receiver spot is very much up for grabs, and while he hasn’t exactly had a huge stretch of time to impress, Simi Fehoko is not a certainty for it.

Whoever winds up as the team’s WR5 could be a significant-ish contributor early on in the season with Gallup likely needing a little bit more time before he will be ready. T.J. Vasher has the chance to be that guy.