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Can Cedrick Wilson Take Another Step Forward in 2021?

For the first time in his career, Cedrick Wilson was able to stay healthy through training camp and get some playing time in the regular season. Since being drafted in 2018, it was the first time that Wilson was able to play a full season and he had quite the impact. Now a restricted free agent, it’s likely that the Cowboys will bring him back to provide depth to the wide receiver room.

In 2020, Wilson caught 17 passes on 27 targets for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Sure, it was the same level of impact that a player like CeeDee Lamb had last year, but it was the first time Wilson was able to contribute.

Prior to Dak Prescott’s injury, Wilson had a three-game stretch in the first part of the season where he saw at least four targets. From week three against the Seattle Seahawks to week five against the New York Giants saw 17 targets and caught 12 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. It’s unlikely that Wilson would have been able to keep up that pace, but if you project that over the course of a season that’s 64 receptions for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns. That would constitute a breakout season.

Wilson led the Cowboys in yards after catch per reception, though he saw far fewer targets than Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. At 6-5 and 188 pounds, Wilson provides a nice size and speed combination that allows him to play all over the formation. He can serve as a backup for each of the Dallas Cowboys starters at wide receiver.

In the Cowboys’ loss against the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson caught five receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. In that loss, he had touchdowns of 40 and 42 yards. The first one brought the Cowboys to within one point in the first half. The second touchdown brought the Cowboys to within eight and gave them a shot at completing the comeback. Even after getting the lead, the Cowboys still fell short.

Wilson’s snap count didn’t change much from the first five games of the season to the final 11 games of the year. It’s clear that he was much more involved in the offense when Dak Prescott was in the lineup.

With Prescott going down and the downgrade at the quarterback position, there were fewer opportunities in the passing game for everyone, especially their fourth wide receiver. However, with Dak Prescott returning in 2021 and Kellen Moore continuing to call the plays, it’s likely that Wilson will set new career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 2021.

What do you think?

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Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

6 Comments

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  1. Ced had a few good games then kind of disappeared. He appears to be a good back up type with some limited starter flex. Overall a decent WR to have in case if injuries. Ran back kicks in college so thats a plus. With the trio in front of him, may be hard to show up much.

    • I think the disappearance largely coincided with Dak’s absence and taking the ball out of the quarterback’s hands a bit. Overall, I agree with your assessment though. I could see him as a solid fourth wide receiver that could put up 500 yards and 3 touchdowns in this offense.

  2. Wilson is the kind of receiver that will thrive if Dak would hv stayed healthy and him too. He has the skill set to be a very good receiver. I think the confidence in him will be even better next season, who knows maybe Dallas trade Gallup and Wilson will get more snaps to prove he’s just as good given the chance

  3. Tall receivers with good hands are always a plus. Wii Kellen use him oreoerly? Remember the Eagles “tall” receiver back in the day? Cboys had a hard time stopping hin on third and long.

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