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The Cowboys desperately need Jalen Tolbert to step up in year one

Jalen Tolbert will be relied on a lot at the start of the season for the Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that rookie wide receiver Jalen Tolbert will be called upon early and often in year one of his NFL career. Heading into training camp, Tolbert was realistically the Cowboys WR2 behind CeeDee Lamb with Michael Gallup likely to miss some time to start the regular season. Since training camp started, Tolbert has been bested by veteran WR Noah Brown, who has had one of the better training camps out of all 90 players in Oxnard.

While Tolbert hasn’t necessarily struggled this offseason, it isn’t crazy to say that we expected a little bit more from the third-round pick out of South Alabama. While the practices have been solid, it’s really been the game action that has left Cowboys fans, and the Cowboys front office, a little concerned with how much the team will be able to rely on him in year one.

Again, it’s early. He’s young. And we’ve seen little action with Tolbert being involved in the offense with CeeDee Lamb, Noah Brown, the starting five offensive linemen, and most importantly, Dak Prescott. But with just one preseason game left, and just three weeks left until week one, we’d like to see Tolbert dominate the final preseason game to make us feel a little bit better about his role.

Through two games, Tolbert has caught four passes for 35 yards, and while he’s shown some of things he excels at, it’s cleaning up the little things that’ll allow him to really blossom in the NFL. We’ve seen a few drops from Tolbert in the preseason, which is something he had some issues with coming out of South Alabama.

There’s plenty of upside with Tolbert, and the concerns are by no means a big deal, but the front office did very little to makeup for the losses of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, so the pressure will be on Tolbert to start the season. Let’s hope he’s able to respond the way he did in college, with more work with the first-team offense.

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