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Dallas Cowboys mailbag: Does Ezekiel Elliott come back, and some wide receiver questions

People have questions about the Cowboys, and we strive to provide the answers.

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Every week, we will be taking questions on Twitter and Facebook about Dallas Cowboys players and other questions surrounding the team. So let’s get right into it.

“Do you think Zeke comes back to Dallas if no team signs him”

(Submitted by Joe Tranchina via Facebook)

Brandon: The simple answer is no. The Cowboys are way past the point of Ezekiel Elliott returning because during OTAs, Mike McCarthy has talked about his confidence in Tony Pollard to lead the room and has a role for young players like Malik Davis and Deuce Vaughn. The next time Elliott returns to the Cowboys will be to retire as one.

Mike: I don’t see it happening. It’s a nice idea to have him back and I’m a huge Zeke fan, but he would either be too expensive for what the Cowboys would want out of him or there’s more behind the scenes between the two camps we care to know about. As it stands, the Cowboys have a pretty well put together running back room and they will want to test the guys they have. Barring any major injury I don’t think this front office will go back to the running back position.

“Are we giving up on Jalen Tolbert?

(Submitted by ThomaEdge via Twitter)

Brandon: Not at all. Think about some of the best wide receivers in the NFL right now. Some of them took time to get where they are right now, especially the ones who were second-day draft picks. Consider Davante Adams as an example—he played 29 games in his first two seasons with the Green Bay Packers, had under 1,000 yards, and had four touchdowns. It took until year five for him to have his first 1,000-yard season. No one remembers that because Adams is top five at his position in the league. Tolbert has put in the work this offseason to take a positive step forward. I’m not saying he will be Davante Adams, but the Cowboys will give him every opportunity to be a contributor.

Mike: My answer is no with a “but”. There was probably too much expectation for Tolbert in his rookie year and the level he played at in college and that may have hindered his development in year one. Maybe coaching didn’t help as much once the season began and he got lost in the commotion, but here’s my but. When he did get the chance he really didn’t shine at all. The chances he did get he looked out of place and lost and committed penalties that were confusing. Tolbert is hard-working and spending time with Dak and other receivers this offseason so hopefully he can take a step up this season. He’s far from being a bust at this stage.

“I’m keen on seeing what Brandin Cooks in this Cowboys offense. What’s your thoughts?

(Submitted by Andrew Camp via Facebook)

Brandon: During Mike McCarthy’s press conference this week, he spoke about how the team’s vertical speed improved this offseason. Undoubtedly, that’s because of Cooks and what he can be in Dallas’ offense. CeeDee Lamb has the versatility to line up on the outside or out of the slot, but his skill set is best used when he’s going against nickel corners and linebackers. Now that Cooks is in Dallas, he can be a good outside receiver opposite Michael Gallup, allowing Lamb to be the best version of himself. When talking about Micah Parsons, McCarthy said some of the best players dominate on their own and help others be better around them. Cooks can be great on his own while helping the other receivers around him.

Mike: The Cowboys made two of the best offseason moves by utilizing trades. One of those moves was Brandin Cooks. He’s always been one of the most elite WR2 players in the NFL, but has always been on teams trying to make him a WR1. Good news for Cooks is Dallas has their WR1 so he comes in ready to play where he’s supposed to from the start. I like to think he will be the pinch of salt to this offense that makes everything else better. His downfield speed and deep-threat ability cannot be ignored by defenses and this will only open everything else up for the rest of the receiver corps. His injury history is pretty much clean, he’s consistently been productive and his skill set fits exactly what the passing attack has been missing. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing Cooks also.

Poll Of The Week: Finally on the Mailbag we asked you which wide receiver will be the most productive for the Cowboys this year not named CeeDee Lamb. Here are the results and our take on the poll.

Brandon: The Cowboys’ current roster at receiver should give fans more confidence than what they saw in the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers. The poll perfectly aligns with how the depth chart should shake out. Cooks should be the second-leading receiver on the team, followed by Michael Gallup, and then a toss-up between Jalen Tolbert and Simi Fehoko. No. 81 keeps making strides during OTAs and could push for more reps with the first-team offense. If KaVontae Turpin is Dallas’ sixth wide receiver being used in various ways, I’d say Dak Prescott will be a happy man heading into the 2023 season.

Mike: This pretty much has emphasized the feelings on Cooks from the previous question, and it seems there’s a lot of people that think the same. I think this year, if there was ever a chance to have three wide receivers go for 1,000-yards for Dallas in a season, then this could be the one. Some apprehension for Gallup maybe due to the injury, but I fully expect after a year removed from his ACL recovery to be back to his usual self. Time to get excited for this wide receiver unit Dallas has to play with.

Be sure to check @kenfigkowboy and @brandoniswrite on Twitter and also Facebook for the weekly post, asking you for your questions for the weekly mailbag. Check for the Poll of The Week on Twitter. Many thanks to everyone that sends in your questions and votes.

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