We continue our “Better or Worse” offseason review series with the wide receiver position. With few changes made on offense this year, could 4th-round rookie Simi Fehoko wind up being the most significant new face in 2021?
You will notice a consistent theme throughout the offense; the Cowboys are banking on returning veterans and continued growth of young talent. Nearly the entire offense, from starters to the bottom of the depth chart, will be carried over from 2020.
This is especially good news at receiver. Dallas already boasts arguably the league's best WR trio in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. Even backups Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown are trustworthy assets at this point, making the position both potent and stable.
2021 Offseason Movement at WR
- Simi Fehoko
- Johnnie Dixon
- Brennan Eagles
- Osirus Mitchell
- Brandon Smith
- T.J. Vasher
However, with Gallup, Wilson, and Brown all set to become unrestricted free agents after this season, Fehoko was added in the 2021 Draft and will hopefully become a factor right away. While draft status doesn't mean everything, and sometimes very little, it's noteworthy that Fehoko was taken a few round earlier than Wilson (6th) or Brown (7th) in their respective drafts.
In fact, depending on numbers and needs elsewhere on the roster, Dallas could very well part ways with Cedrick or Noah at final cuts. I expect them to keep six receivers total this year, but if they only go with five then we can almost guarantee Fehoko will be one of them.
The rest of the new faces are mostly undrafted rookies with only an outside chance at making the roster. Also in the mix is Stephen Guidry, a well-liked UDFA last year who opted out in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Sure, nothing says one of these players can't be a camp or preseason darling and force his way onto the team. But given their experience and roles on special teams, Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown won't be easily ousted.
As to the question of improvement, Fehoko may not make this group any better in 2021 than it already was. Drafting Simi was more about preparing for a future without Michael Gallup and perhaps a couple of trusted depth options.
Still, just getting 2nd-yar development out of CeeDee Lamb could be a major boon for the offense. And if Gallup, Wilson, and Brown are all playing in contract seasons, there's no doubt the amount of effort coming from all levels of the WR depth chart.
Dallas didn't have to make any big moves this year to make this group stronger. That was the beauty of drafting Lamb last year; his potential could have far-reaching implications for the offense if he progresses as expected.