The upcoming season will be a novel take a look at for the Dallas Cowboys. We will discover out if their unyielding religion in their very own guys can produce favorable outcomes after dropping some maintain gamers this offseason. One of their greatest strikes this yr was buying and selling away Amari Cooper and getting out of the closing three seasons of his five-year, $100 million contract he signed in 2020.
With no Cooper, the Cowboys are going a special route in the case of how they need to assemble their wide receiving place group. For instance, as an alternative of continuous to pay Amari Cooper $20 million per season, they like to roll with:
- 2020 first-round draft choose CeeDee Lamb coming into his third season
- 26-year-old Michael Gallup on a five-year, $57.5 million extension
- South Alabama receiving star Jalen Tolbert with their 2022 third-round choose
- Veteran James Washington on a one-year, $1.2 million free agent deal
On paper, this isn’t a foul group of receivers. However, what they will ship on the area brings about a number of questions. The greatest one is how lengthy will the crew be with out the providers of Gallup? Without him, the depth chart sees a shift and the group seems rather less fascinating. On high of that, we’ve by no means seen Lamb play as the crew’s no. 1 wideout as he’s all the time had Cooper there to draw consideration from the protection. Add the typical studying curve accompanying rookie receivers, and Tolbert’s expectations ought to be tempered a bit. Finally, it’s arduous to evaluate what they’re getting with Washington as a result of his final two seasons have been quiet regardless of efficiency in 2019. Whether you’re stuffed with optimism or concern, all we can actually say is that there appears to be a wide range of potential outcomes in the case of how the Cowboys receivers will do in 2022.
It’s simple to get caught up in the pre-Amari days again in 2018 when the receiving group was simply horrible. They began the yr with Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, and a first-year Gallup. Despite what the group believed, this group couldn’t create sufficient separation and unfold the area effectively sufficient to make the passing sport work. Since the addition of Cooper, the Cowboys’ passing sport took off in exceptional vogue as Dak Prescott abruptly began averaging practically 100 yards extra per sport than he had earlier than.
Cooper is gone now, however that doesn’t imply issues will revert again to the stagnant outdated offense that when existed. Here are some things to assist calm our nerves as we as soon as once more enter an Cooper-less period.
CeeDee Lamb is right here
Lamb’s numbers are very similar to Cooper’s over their first two years in the league. And let’s not overlook that even Cooper had a veteran/former first-round choose serving to him out as Michael Crabtree had superb seasons throughout Cooper’s first couple of years in the league.
The Lamb issue alone won’t enable this present solid to be similar to the dreaded 2018 season as that group had zero no. 1 wide receivers on the roster. You may even make a compelling case that it was stuffed with no. 3 wideouts. CeeDee Lamb is right here and that’s a pleasant begin.
Kellen Moore can be right here
The Cowboys’ offensive coordinator is closely scrutinized, so this one isn’t going to sway many, but it surely ought to be famous that the shift in offensive success doesn’t simply observe the Cooper timeline. Moore was simply the quarterback coach in 2018 and moved as much as OC the following season. Even with accidents to each the quarterback and offensive line lately, the offense has been transferring up and down the area. They are the top-ranked scoring and yards-gained offense from a yr in the past so one thing good should’ve been occurring there.
Schultz is a key ingredient
While this text is usually about the wide receiver place group, we can’t low cost what Dalton Schultz brings to the Cowboys’ receiving sport. He’s closely focused and a confirmed chain-mover. In 2018, the crew began the yr with Geoff Swaim as their beginning tight finish, so clearly, the tight finish spot has been considerably upgraded. Schutz had simply as many targets as Cooper did final yr and was solely surpassed by Lamb. That says loads about how Prescott trusts him, particularly contemplating how stacked the crew was at wide receiver final yr.
Gallup is coming again
We don’t know when it’s taking place, however the return of Gallup will give this offense a giant enhance. Let’s not overlook that Gallup had 1,107 receiving yards as the Cowboys’ no. 2 wideout in 2019 and he’s confirmed he’s greater than able to making massive performs for this offense. Barring a well being setback or the crew in some way burying themselves early in the yr, all issues are pointing to a really explosive end for this Cowboys’ offense.
A viable no. 3
Rookie Jalen Tolbert is coming off two nice school seasons and enters the excellent atmosphere to maintain issues going. James Washington is a 26-year-old former second-round choose who produced 735 yards receiving earlier than the Pittsburgh Steelers WR group abruptly grew to become crowded. Both these guys will get alternatives to shine early attributable to Gallup being out, and it wouldn’t be stunning to see one in all them take full benefit.
The Pollard issue
Do you realize who led the Cowboys in receptions throughout that dreaded 2018 offensive season? Ezekiel Elliott. That was earlier than Tony Pollard confirmed up, however he’s right here now and he’s in a contract yr. The crew pinky guarantees they’ll get him extra concerned and that can lengthen to the passing sport. Like Schultz, he’s not an precise wide receiver, however that doesn’t imply he can’t be an enormous weapon in the passing sport.
Wild card guys
Simi Fehoko. T.J. Vasher. Brandon Smith. Those are meaningless names proper now, however one in all them won’t be later. There isn’t any motive to get excited about any of those younger receivers, so we received’t, but when one in all them does step up, abruptly the Cowboys could have some bonus contribution additional down the depth chart.
If you imagine that Prescott wants optimum situations to carry out, then, by all means, be involved. But when you imagine in Dak, then they need to be simply high quality as a result of there are a number of totally different items on this roster to maintain this offense buzzing.