The Cowboys have had different receivers make big plays throughout training camp, looking to fill the void left behind by Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson. While new faces like Jalen Tolbert, Dennis Houston, and KaVontae Turpin have all stepped up, another encouraging sign is the way top receiver CeeDee Lamb has taken over drills, and other receivers with experience like Noah Brown, T.J. Vasher, and Simi Fehoko have all progressed.
Tuesday’s practice was another standout day for Fehoko, who’s quickly becoming a target Dak Prescott and the Cowboys QBs can look for on contested throws.
Another day. Another touchdown for Cowboys WR Simi Fehoko. His size and speed have both both shown up in camp. pic.twitter.com/nrrK3Upzxy— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 9, 2022
Fehoko has fit nicely into the role Cedrick Wilson occupied last season, showing against their own defense that the Cowboys had some plan in mind when turning over the depth chart at receiver.
Practice #10 of #CowboysCamp Notes:— Kyle Youmans (@Kyle_Youmans) August 9, 2022
- Most physical & chippy practice
- Simi Fehoko had best practice of his career
- Lots of Red Zone & motion work
- Lirim Hajrullahu didn’t miss a kick for second straight day
- Dowdle, Sprinkle back at practice
The Cowboys will have a chance to sort out their receiving depth chart against live competition on Saturday in the preseason opener. If players like Fehoko and Brown can continue to make plays, it’s a very good sign. The Broncos will be a good test for not only the receivers, but Dallas’ offensive line as the team is hoping players like Terence Steele and Tyler Smith will also show out.
For a team not perceived to have a lot of depth before training camp, the Cowboys have plenty of players looking to build on strong practices in Oxnard this preseason. Fehoko has to top this list as a receiver that all but redshirted his rookie season. Fehoko played just seven snaps on offense in 2021, but was valuable on special teams.
Special teams coordinator John Fassell has new receivers like Dennis Houston and KaVontae Turpin looking to earn their way on the team through special teams before earning more snaps on offense. This is exactly what Fehoko has done as his speed creates easy separation, with noticeable improvement in his route running and catch radius.
Cowboys WR Simi Fehoko continues his strong camp with touchdown. He’s taken a developmental leap in second year. pic.twitter.com/OrADph6E38— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 8, 2022
Based on what we’ve seen in Oxnard, Brown and Fehoko are in the mix to get regualr reps with Lamb and Tolbert to start the season. Brown is a longer form example of the Cowboys developing a player, finally getting consistent run on offense entering year five.
Both Brown and Fehoko have made plays on contested throws and scramble drills, which the Cowboys passing game saw plenty of in 2021. The Cowboys have also targeted Dalton Schultz, Tony Pollard, and Ezekiel Elliott throughout camp, giving them options against defenses set to take away Lamb.
At this point in training camp, stringing together weeks worth of positive plays is going to get noticed, with the Cowboys putting out their first depth chart on Tuesday. Players with experience in the Cowboys system have the edge throughout, like Quinton Bohanna ahead of rookie John Ridgeway at defensive tackle and Matt Farniok above Alec Lindstrom.
The Cowboys feel like they’re going in the right direction under Mike McCarthy, a coach that’s been forced to answer questions about how long he’ll be in Dallas all offseason. Jerry Jones insisted at the start of training camp that McCarthy wouldn’t make it to this season if he wasn’t the guy to at least win the NFC East again, and be “viable” in the postseason.
So far in Oxnard, there hasn’t been a much better example that the Cowboys have a plan to make this happen than seeing Simi Fehoko make big plays on a daily basis.