The Dallas Cowboys are set to play their second game of the season on Sunday after losing the opener to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and unfortunately they left Week 1 with a number of injuries. Friday’s injury report saw five different players (none of them surprises) listed as out for the matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals: Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup, Connor McGovern, Jayron Kearse, and Tarell Basham. All five of these players are still on the active roster which means the inactive list for Sunday afternoon is almost full just with these names.
Last week’s inactives included rookie wide receiver Jalen Tolbert which was disappointing. Tolbert is a third-round pick and while he objectively was outplayed during training camp and the preseason by UDFA Dennis Houston (football is a meritocracy as a certain someone once said), his being inactive was something that was not foreseen during the days of the front office touting him as part of their strategy for replacing receivers lost in Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson.
For Tolbert to be inactive again would obviously add to the disappointment. Many noted last week how it was troubling that Tolbert couldn’t earn a spot even in a situation where both Michael Gallup and James Washington were not a part of the fold. It would be more troubling if this remained true with four active players from last week sidelined. Obviously Tolbert can’t take the spot of say Dak Prescott on the roster, but the point is the team must truly not see him as someone who can at all contribute right now.
Stephen Jones was asked about when Tolbert’s debut could come during his Friday appearance on 105.3 The Fan. Here is what he had to say.
Part of why this was a bit eyebrow-raising actually has to do with another inactive in Jayron Kearse. When talking about Kearse earlier in the interview Stephen specifically brought up Israel Mukuamu and Markquese Bell, how they were both inactive last week, and how they both could play on Sunday with Kearse on the mend.
Again, the situation is not apples to apples, but Stephen took an opportunity to highlight their potential first games of the season when not prompted to, yet when he was specifically asked about Tolbert making his debut, he danced around the question before saying that it could happen “in the coming weeks.”
Many have been upset with how Dallas handled their receiver group and that was with Dak Prescott under center. ,Why won’t the team provide help by way of the receiver position? If it can’t be an active Tolbert, then find someone who can help. One of the players who had their way with Dallas last week was recently available in Julio Jones.
Time will tell what is going to happen with Jalen Tolbert. But it doesn’t seem like he is going to be active on Sunday. Mike McCarthy said earlier in the week that Tolbert was behind “the other guys” on special teams and while that is an understandable explanation, we are sort of more interested in offense right now as opposed to special teams given the team being the only one in the NFL to have not scored a touchdown so far this year.