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Figuring out which Cowboys receiver has the ‘most to prove’ in training camp

After Michael Gallup, the Cowboys depth chart at wide receiver is an open competition.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always good as a journalist when a question asked is received with praise and creates intrigue. That’s a fancy way to say if there’s an opportunity to pat ourselves on the back, we’ll take it.

On a recent episode of the Love of the Star Podcast with Bobby Belt and Bryan Broaddus, they answered a mailbag question I presented about the Dallas Cowboys depth chart and who has the most to prove in Oxnard, CA.

Question: Which wide receiver has the most to prove in training camp? Simi Fehoko, KaVontae Turpin, or Dennis Houston?

Broaddus: It’s a good question. It’s a really good question and we’ve started to see that Turpin is being used more as a possibility [on offense]. That was something you and I had talked about post-Green Bay Packer game last year, that we were looking forward to the bye week and then Turpin being in special packages and stuff and getting him on the field—that never materialized.

I think Houston is who he is. I think Houston is a pretty good practice player. I think he had an opportunity to shine, to develop a little bit, to maybe get a leg up—I don’t think he took advantage of that at all.

The thing about Turpin is, and I mention him again, that he is a shorter guy, he’s explosive, we’ve seen the capability of making big plays. I wanna see him get more involved, and they’re starting to do that.

Simi Fehoko, I think the hope for him is that he becomes a better version of Noah Brown. That’s kind of where I see Simi Fehoko

Belt: Better athlete for sure.

Broaddus: Yeah. I’ll never forget watching that Stanford-UCLA game and my man caught like 17 passes that day. It was impressive and UCLA couldn’t stop him. I just remember that type of ability, but the hope for him is special teams, Noah Brown, toughness, athlete, that type of guy.

I think they all have something to prove. If I had to power rank them as far as where I think they might fall I would say Fehoko first, Turpin second, and Houston third.

Bobby Belt explains that Fehoko is entering year three as a fifth-round pick, and unfortunately for him, injuries have derailed his professional career up to this point. However, if fans want to hang their hats on something about Fehoko’s development, it’s that he put together an impressive training camp last season and has looked great in limited reps during OTAs and mini camp.

The former Stanford receiver has always had the talent to be great, and if he can keep building his chemistry with Dak Prescott like he has all offseason, Fehoko could be another player who could stretch the field on offense.

Turpin has been itching to get more playing time on offense and has talked about giving the coaching staff “no choice” but to use him in an expanded role. There was talk of using him in unique ways, but it never happened, given how valuable of a player he was on special teams.

During the OTA workouts, Turpin was getting many looks at wide receiver, which could mean the coaching staff is finally ready to see what else he could do. Training camp would be a big opportunity for the Pro Bowl returner to put his name in the conversation of WR4.

Houston is an interesting player given that he made the 53-man roster a season ago as an undrafted free agent and earned the respect and praise of Prescott. He shouldn’t be counted out just yet because he’s played on offense and special teams, which the coaching staff values for guys down the depth chart.

The competition for Houston’s spot might come between him, a fourth running back, a fourth tight end, another offensive or defensive lineman, and rookie receiver Jalen Brooks. Either way, Houston has an excellent chance to stick around, even if it’s a spot on the practice squad.

Overall, the Cowboys receiver room is loaded for 2023, highlighted by starters CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup. Jalen Tolbert will get every chance to be No. 4 on that list, but the guys above might have something to say about it.

Competition at receiver will always make training camp more exciting, and 2023 is shaking up to be no different.

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