The Dallas Cowboys had one of the best wide receiving groups in the league last season that featured Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Cedrick Wilson Jr., giving them an embarrassment of riches. It’s no wonder the Cowboys led the league in points scored and yards gained last year.
But now, half of the gang has moved on to AFC teams that value them more, and the Cowboys are left trying to reassemble the pieces. They still have the rising star Lamb who is poised for a big year as the team’s undisputed no. 1 wide receiver. They also signed Gallup to a five-year, $62.5 million deal securing his services for many years down the road. While that’s a nice start, many are left wondering, then what? These voids have since been patched up with an assortment of young players who have all had nice training camps. In fact, the question no longer is can the Cowboys find enough WRs to fill out the position group, but rather who are they going to leave out? Let’s run down and rank the Cowboys' receivers and get a sense of what they have to work with.
WR1 CEEDEE LAMB
The former Oklahoma star has all the traits to be an elite receiver at the NFL level and each season he’s taken a step forward. He even out-performed Cooper last year making it easier for the team to move on from the four-time Pro Bowler. Lamb’s opportunities will only increase and all eyes will be on him to see if he can truly establish himself as one of the league’s best pass catchers.
WR2 MICHAEL GALLUP
Gallup’s career thus far has been a weird one as he’s played on the team when they were bone dry in talent at the position (first part of 2018) as well as these last couple of years where they were rich in talent making him the WR3. Gallup’s best year though was in 2019 when he was the definitive WR2 opposite Cooper and he’ll return to a similar situation this year. His recovery is going well and he might not miss a whole lot of time.
WR3 JALEN TOLBERT
The rookie from South Alabama got off to a hot start in camp making play after play in Oxnard. He was quiet in the team’s first preseason game, and some of the early love he was getting has started to fade. While it’s natural for rookies to endure some growing pains early on, Tolbert has the talent to make an impact early. It might not be evident in preseason where Dak Prescott isn’t likely to throw a single pass, but once he gets his quarterback in there, Tolbert will make his presence felt.
After the main three, it gets a little tricky to stack the remaining guys as it would look different depending on who you ask. You can rank them, however, but this is how I see them currently.
WR4 SIMI FEHOKO
Practically invisible last year, expectations started to drop for the second-year receiver out of Stanford. Fortunately, he’s been playing extremely well in camp and has the Cowboys' lone touchdown in the preseason. Last year, the team had a surplus of receivers so they were afforded the luxury of developing him slowly which we can now safely say explains his low usage a year ago.
WR5 DENNIS HOUSTON
This year’s UDFA rookie star has created buzz early and often. Normally, we’d slow our roll with players like this because we’ve seen them drop off the face of the earth quickly, but Houston has been nothing short of consistent all camp. He already has nice chemistry with Prescott and possesses the upside to be a real factor in the Cowboys' passing attack.
Whether you have these receivers in that order or not, it feels like most would agree that these five are all making the team. After that, things get really hard to sort out.
WR6 NOAH BROWN
The quiet veteran never flashes in camp, but somehow finds his way on the squad even when the team is deep with other receivers. His blocking and special teams value looms large. Oddly enough, this year he’s had a tremendous camp and is showing more consistency as a pass catcher. It would feel sacrilegious to cut him loose now, but there is only so much room on the roster.
WR7 KAVONTAE TURPIN
He’s essentially the team’s only return guy on the roster so by all accounts, he has to make the team, right? Well, who knows what the Cowboys will do? It would be nice to see him in space more and make use out of him a little better on offense so we could feel better about his overall value, but so far he hasn’t come away with any good plays.
These guys are not making the team...
WR8 BRANDON SMITH
My pet cat from a year ago still looks very solid. If it wasn’t for all the talent in front of him, he would be in the running as well. Another year on the practice squad appears to be where his fate is heading.
WR9 T.J. VASHER
A couple of months ago fans would be pleading their case for this lengthy young receiver to make the roster, but all the hype has died down. Vasher made a great catch in camp, but a highlight here and there won’t cut it. His concentration drops will seal his fate as he won’t survive final roster cuts.
WR10 DONTARIO DRUMMOND
Drummond is another UDFA who has been solid in camp, but gets looked over because of the guys ahead of him. He had a nice showing in the Chargers scrimmage and it wouldn’t be surprising if that continued tonight in their preseason matchup.
How do you see this playing out? How many receivers do you expect the Cowboys to keep and which ones would you hang on to? Let us know your WR rankings in the comments.