For two seasons, Noah Brown has been an intriguing WR prospect for the Dallas Cowboys but has struggled with injuries. Now entering his fourth season in 2020, can Brown stay healthy and become a regular contributor on offense?
Just a 7th-round pick in 2017, Noah was limited to a few late-season snaps as he worked on developing his raw athletic skills. Injuries have since caused him to miss the first half of the 2018 season and all of 2019.
Brown established himself quickly as an exceptional blocker for a receiver, and at times has flashed his potential catching the ball. When Noah gets the ball in his hands, he has displayed some of the same physicality as a runner that we used to love in Dez Bryant.
Brown is built like Dez, listed at 6’2″ and around 220 pounds. And much like some have suggested that Bryant could return to Dallas this year as a hybrid WR/TE player, that same position would make sense for Noah given his size and skills.
Assuming that the Cowboys are able to re-sign Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb this offseason, they and Michael Gallup form the clear Top 3 among our receivers. But that fourth position and everything below it are wide open, and Noah Brown has as good a shot as anyone.
Even with the changes in the coaching staff, Brown still has an advocate on the team in Ezekiel Elliott. They were college teammates at Ohio State, and Jerry Jones has shared before that Zeke’s opinion was one of the reasons that they drafted Noah in 2017.
With Brown on the last year of his rookie deal there is no financial incentive for releasing him. Dallas should have him back competing for a spot, and his has already displayed skills that should at least make him a strong special teams candidate if not more.
Obviously, if the Cowboys do reunite with Dez Bryant then that may hurt Brown’s chances. But on the other hand, perhaps Noah’s potential is a reason that Dallas would decide not take on the risk or expense of signing Dez.
At this point, Brown’s biggest enemy is his own body. A hamstring injury had him on injured reserve for the first part of 2018, and then a knee issue took him out all of last year.
With free agency looming in 2021, Noah needs to stay on the field and to make a name for himself beyond the most ardent Cowboys fans. There should be opportunity in Dallas this season, but Brown has to stay healthy enough to take advantage of it.