Sunday will mark the beginning of a new season for the Dallas Cowboys, one where expectations are rather high considering the team won the division a year ago, but wound up disappointing in the playoffs.
Expectations are often associated with pressure and it sort of feels like the intensity is up for Dallas and the demand for them to achieve greatness this season. On the surface their roster has a lot of questions that we are hopefully going to get some answers about against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and near the very top of the list is how the organization has handled the wide receiver position.
The Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper over the offseason, but they also lost Cedrick Wilson in free agency. Dallas “replaced” these players by signing James Washington (who is out for the time being while on injured reserve) in free agency and drafting Jalen Tolbert in the third round. They wound up adding KaVontae Turpin after training camp started, and while we are excited about him, time will truly tell whether or not he is involved in the team’s offensive gameplan.
There is some chatter that Jalen Tolbert may be inactive on Sunday night against the Buccaneers
Entering Sunday’s matchup against Tampa, the Cowboys have CeeDee Lamb who is WR1, but after that there is not a lot in terms of proven experience at the NFL level. Michael Gallup will not play in all likelihood, James Washington is definitely not going to, so the presumed reality is that Jalen Tolbert would inherit an opportunity to contribute.
But could there be a curveball in week 1? Longtime mothership voice Bryan Broaddus (who can now be heard at 105.3 The Fan) said recently on the Love of the Star podcast that Jalen Tolbert could be inactive on Sunday night. He added some clarification on Twitter after people started to ask him about it.
I have heard that he might not. Lamb gave a lot of praise to Simi and Noah as being ready. Turpin will dress so it’s down to him or Houston. https://t.co/oPCLYnJLtb— BryanBroaddus (@BryanBroaddus) September 9, 2022
While it would hardly be the end of the world if Tolbert were a healthy scratch against the Buccaneers (he has not been listed on the injury report so it would in fact be that), it would certainly be discouraging given the events of the last few months.
The Cowboys have spoken highly of Tolbert and it is not some great leap that people have made to assume that the team was planning on him contributing right away. It has long also been assumed that Gallup would miss time at the beginning of the season and the Cowboys chose to roll with the receiver group that they have which would seemingly serve as an indication that they were fine with the status quo.
As Bryan Broaddus notes it might come down to the Cowboys dressing Jalen Tolbert or fellow rookie Dennis Houston. While Tolbert was a third-round selection of the Cowboys, his teammate Dennis Houston took a much less conventional path and made the roster as an undrafted free agent this year after quickly building trust with quarterback Dak Prescott throughout camp. On the other side of that, Tolbert didn’t have a preseason that lit the world on fire.
Perhaps this comes down to the trust Houston has with Prescott. Maybe the Cowboys feel like Houston is the right play at this specific moment in time. But it would certainly be disheartening to see Tolbert inactive.
In the end we’ll have to see what happens. Broaddus is simply suggesting that this could happen, and we are passing it along as a heads up. But in the end the Cowboys may very well dress Tolbert and this will all be justa passing rumor.