One of the biggest headlines throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys was the concerning depth, or lack thereof, behind CeeDee Lamb at wide receiver. After trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns and watching Cedrick Wilson walk via free agency to the Miami Dolphins, Dallas’ receiving corps was a concern entering the 2022 season.
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Cowboys have had a mixed bag of results in the passing game. In Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they failed to find much success, and in Week 2, with Cooper Rush in for an injured Dak Prescott, they showed a little more life, but not nearly what we’ve come to expect from them the past few years.
With Michael Gallup still making his way back from his season-ending knee injury, CeeDee Lamb has yet to live up to his No. 1 WR status. Opposing defenses have focused on limiting him in the passing game, forcing both Cooper Rush and Dak Prescott to look elsewhere. Sadly, none of the other receivers have really stepped up, with the exception of Noah Brown.
In back-to-back games, Noah Brown has surprisingly been clutch for the Cowboys in the passing game. He’s led the team in receiving yards both weeks against the Buccaneers and the Bengals. In the season opener he caught five passes for 68 yards and followed that up with another five-catch, 91-yard performance with one touchdown in Week 2.
No one saw this coming, including probably the Cowboys, who have stated over and over this offseason they liked what they had depth-wise at wide receiver this year. After all, how could we have possibly envisioned No. 85 suddenly having a breakout year after not seeing much from him his previous seasons with the Cowboys.
Since being drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Brown has never really risen higher than WR5 on the depth chart. His value has come on special teams and as an occasional blocker on offense. That’s why it shouldn’t come too much of a shock to discover he’s only amassed 39 catches for 425 yards in his career before this season.
As things stand right now, Brown is poised to shatter his career stats this year. In two games this season he’s already hauled in a total of 10 catches for 159 receiving yards and just so happen to score the first touchdown of his career Sunday afternoon against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cowboys WR Noah Brown scored his first TD since entering NFL in 2017.— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 19, 2022
"I told him congratulations like 50 times," CeeDee Lamb said. "I can’t stop smiling, I can’t stop congratulating him." pic.twitter.com/jdTW9Nu8mu
At just 26-years-old, Brown is finally getting the opportunity to prove himself more than just a depth receiver with special teams value, and so far so good for the 6’2”, 225-pound WR. He’s doing everything he supposed to when his number is called and the Cowboys offense is better for it.
And, if No. 85’s projection through the first two weeks of the 2022 season wasn’t impressive enough, take a look at what both Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson have done with their new teams. Cooper has hauled in just 12 catches for 118 yards and one touchdown so far and Wilson has just two catches for 20 yards. Brown, has outperformed them both.
So, maybe the Dallas Cowboys were right after all. Maybe we shouldn’t have all been so concerned about the depth at wide receiver this year as we were. So far, Noah Brown is far exceeding anyone’s expectations and proving himself a reliable, valuable weapon for the Cowboys in the passing game.