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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy high on early returns from Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore

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NFL: JAN 01 Jaguars at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

‘Excellent!’ Cowboys Mike McCarthy Scouting Report: Brandin Cooks & Stephon Gilmore - Riley Shepard,

The Cowboys surprised many by making these trades to help them go all in, with both Cooks and Gilmore ready to step into starting roles.

“I’ve been talking to Gilmore since I got into the league,” Diggs said. “I’ve always been asking him questions. Now I got him on my team, so I can bug him every day.

“(I talk to him) about how to stay consistent and how to slow the game down even more. When I watch him, he literally plays in slow motion, but he’s really fast. He’s so smart and … he makes it look so easy. I want to learn how to do that and learn how to just take my game to the next level.”

Despite Dallas only being in the preparation stages for next season, head coach Mike McCarthy has already been blown away with the two additions.

“Two excellent veterans,” McCarthy said. “Just their veteran experience and their abilities speaks for itself. They’ve been everything we thought they would be. The professionalism is top notch. They both have made impacts in their position rooms, and obviously me being with the offense and being around Brandin, just so happy he’s here. They both have made an impact already.”

The Cowboys are hopeful that these moves can propel them to their second NFC East title over the past five seasons.


Will this be the new Odell Beckham Jr. to Dallas back-and-forth from a year ago?

Like most NFL teams, Dallas utilizes the top four wide receivers on the roster for offense, and a mix of WR4 along with WR5 and WR6 is utilized for special teams or substitutes for injury.

Here is a look of what the active wide receiver room is likely to be in Week 1 of the 2023 season.

CeeDee Lamb

Brandin Cooks

Michael Gallup

Simi Fehoko

KaVontae Turpin

Jalen Tolbert

Lamb, Cooks, and Gallup don’t play special teams. Aside from kickoff and punt returns, Turpin doesn’t either. How would it look with Hopkins added into the fold?

Cowboys’ Position Battles to Watch Ahead of 2023 NFL Season - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

The Cowboys aren’t just relying on one player to replace Dalton Schultz, but still have to find snaps for the trio of Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot, and rookie Luke Schoonmaker.

Losing Schultz will have an impact on the offense, even with Cooks coming in to bolster the receiver room. Schultz, who played on the franchise tag last season, finished with 57 catches, 577 yards and five touchdowns. He was second on the team in receiving yards and one of Prescott’s most trusted targets.

The Cowboys don’t have a ton of proven talent at the position. 2022 fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson ranked second among Cowboys tight ends last season with just 174 receiving yards.

Ferguson will be challenged by 2022 undrafted free agent Peyton Hendershot and second-round rookie Luke Schoonmaker. While the latter has the edge in draft status, he’s not quite polished enough to have the inside track on starting.

“He will need to improve his ability to win the ball in traffic and expand his route tree to incorporate more sharp-breaking routes,” Derrik Klassen of the Bleacher Report Scouting Department wrote of Schoonmaker.

2020 undrafted free agent Sean McKeon, 2022 practice squader Seth Green and undrafted rookie Princeton Fant will get opportunities as well.

Fans should expect an open competition at tight end over the next few months, with Dallas settling on the best option, regardless of draft pedigree, to be the starter. However, it’s very likely that several players will see the field in 2023, with the Cowboys using a committee to replace Schultz’s production.

Ranking every position on the Cowboys from worst to first - Ali Jawad, The Landry Hat

The Cowboys offensive line is a work in progress right now, with potential to end up higher on this list once the starting five is worked out.

The unit that can make or break an offense. In contrast, it may not be the 2014 or 2016 line. However, the Cowboys offensive line can make this offense a threat when healthy.

In 2022 the offensive line surrendered just 27 sacks for 175 yards, which was fourth-best in the league. As most can expect, the starting unit is Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, and Terence Steele.

Assuming Tyron Smith can stay healthy, he will likely return to his natural position, allowing last year’s savior Tyler Smith to see action at left guard and fill in the hole left by Connor McGovern, who signed with Buffalo as a free agent.

Biadasz appeared in his first Pro Bowl last season, while Martin is irreplaceable, and Steele is back from injury to resume his right tackle responsibilities.

The main concern is the need for more depth. The Cowboys may have surprised many by not addressing the offensive line much higher in the draft. However, the team did select Asim Richards out of North Carolina, who has the chance to become a backup guard and swing tackle.

Still behind the starting unit, the question remains. Who to feel confident in the wake of injuries? Like in basketball, a good bench must complement any starting lineup, and any good offensive line requires a good bench, including a quality sixth man.

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