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Can WR Lance Lenoir Make Cowboys’ 2018 Roster?

Jess Haynie

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Can WR Lance Lenoir Make Cowboys' 2018 Roster?
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the darlings of training camp, both this year and in 2017, is Wide Receiver Lance Lenoir. Both with offensive plays and his return ability, Lenoir has made cases for a roster spot. What are his chances of making the Dallas Cowboys' squad in 2018?

Lenoir faces a loaded WR depth chart this season. Even with Dez Bryant and Brice Butler leaving, Dallas added veterans Allen Hurns and Deonte  It's why Thompson in free agency and then drafted Michael Gallup the third round. They also brought in Tavon Austin, who may be listed at running back but will play plenty of WR and should be the team's primary return man.

The Cowboys also still have Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Noah Brown returning from last year. All three are likely to get roster spots over Lenoir.

So right out of the gates, that doesn't sound good. That's six guys, plus Austin at RB, that are projected to make the team. It's why I did not include Lenoir on my latest 53-man roster projection last week.

However, there is still a lot of camp and a whole preseason to go. Lance has plenty of opportunity to turn heads and work his way up the depth chart.

Lance Lenoir

Dallas Cowboys WR Lance Lenoir

Some feel he is already doing that, such as Patrik Walker of CBS Sports. In an article posted yesterday, he looked at comments from new Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal about Lenoir's progress and showed example of Lenoir beating some of the team's best cornerbacks in practice.

Even though I didn't include Lance on my last 53, I can see several ways he can work his way on. The most obvious route is through injuries, but there are alternatives.

One way is if Dallas decides to release Terrance Williams. That won't be easy; Terrance has system experience and is a great run blocker for a receiver. He also still has a lot of dead money on his contract.

But the Cowboys can afford to eat that money now, and Williams' spot on the depth chart is in question with the arrivals of Hurns and Gallup. Dallas may elect to cut Terrance rather than having him as WR4, wanting to make room for younger prospects such as Lenoir and Noah Brown.

Deonte Thompson also isn't guaranteed a spot. He was signed to a minimal one-year deal and is 29 years old. The Cowboys could easily elect to keep Lenoir over him.

With the passing game shifting strategies to a more spread look, and adjusting to the departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, so much is still up in the air. There is great opportunity for young guys to come in and break through the usual walls, and Lance Lenoir is a prime candidate to do just that. The pecking order is hardly solidified these days.

The fact Lenoir also has return ability is another big plus. Even though Tavon Austin will likely be the main guy, Lenoir could offer a more exciting backup than Cole Beasley.

The potential is clear for Lance Lenoir to make the team. I don't see it yet, but he's easily one of the two or three guys I had the hardest time cutting last time around. If he keeps showing up in camp, I may not be able to leave him off the next projection.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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1 Comment
  • Brian Moore

    With Noah Brown hurt this may be his moment to shine. Could help himself solidify a spot if he excels as Special Teamer .

Dallas Cowboys

Maliek Collins Activated From PUP, Cowboys’ Front 7 Looking Great

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Cowboys Defense Have Young Foundation Players To Build Around
Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

There are tons of reasons to be excited about the Dallas Cowboys' defense with the regular season less than a month away. The most recent one is Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is coming off the PUP list after passing his physical and is now activated and practicing.

After suffering another foot injury in May, Collins had to undergo surgery and his return to the roster before the season began was questionable. But things are looking good now as the Cowboys expect him to be ready for week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers.

David Helman on Twitter

On the same day he was taken off PUP, Maliek Collins is participating in pre-practice walkthrough. Not sure what that means for his practice regimen, but that's a positive sign #cowboyswire

Collins missed quite some time, so one has to wonder how fast he will be reincorporated to the defense and whether or not he'll get back his starting role or not. The defensive tackle room seems to be loaded with various talent that should be capable of at least giving #96 a tough competition before he can reclaim his spot as if he hadn't been missing any practices.

David Irving may not be a factor on the roster until he comes back from suspension prior to week 5's match-up against the Houston Texans, but there are other young players Collins should be expecting to fight for the starting role.

Antwaun Woods, Jihad Ward, Brian Price and Datone Jones will provide this team with an interesting debate going forward. But even if not one DT emerges as a clear-cut starter above the rest, the Cowboys have serious depth at the position.

To be honest, the entire front seven is very exciting. Not only do the Cowboys count with good DTs, but just take a look at the defensive end room. Led by 2017 second-team All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence, there is also a deep group of DEs.

Randy Gregory is coming back after a long comeback journey and should earn a lot more snaps as the season progressing. Taco Charlton has made a ton of progress and fourth-round rookie Dorance Armstrong isn't far behind. Not to mention captain Tyrone Crawford, who despite being criticized by many due to his huge contract, is a more than decent DE.

Now, let's talk about the linebackers for a moment here. Before the 2018 NFL Draft, this was seen as one of the weakest units on the team. Fast forward to mid-August and this should be one of the most exciting groups on the team.

Sean Lee will be playing alongside a Jaylon Smith that we've never seen before. Smith is doing things that he wouldn't been able to do a season ago. What he's shown in training camp and through one preseason game should have any Cowboys' fan eager to watch him play in a regular season game. The Jaylon Smith the front office envisioned when taking a risk on him in the 2016 NFL Draft has arrived.

Also in the mix is first round pick Leighton Vander Esch. We haven't been able to watch a lot of playing time from him but we'll sure do pretty soon. He's a week 1 contributor who will play behind what could be one of the best LB duos in the entire NFL.

And just like in the defensive line, the depth seems to be great. Joe Thomas and Damien Wilson have shown what they're capable of and they could be more than special team bodies when needed.

The Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be very concerned about their front seven going forward. It's loaded with talent and even if they rotate their players a lot, this seems like a group that will give any offense a big headache.

Tell me what you think about "Maliek Collins Activated From PUP, Cowboys’ Front 7 Looking Great" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard

The Dallas Cowboys have signed another one of the six players worked out on Monday in Oxnard, adding to their already deep group of wide receivers. Most recently with Utah, Pac-12 Wide Receiver Darren Carrington has signed with the team.

Carrington began his college career at Oregon, where he was on track to make it to the NFL before being dismissed from the Ducks for a DUI. This led Carrington to Utah, where he played as a graduate transfer and put up a team high 908 yards and six touchdowns on 70 receptions last season.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys signing former Utah WR Darren Carrington, per source.

At 6021 (6' 2 1/8") and 199 pounds, Carrington is yet another athletic target with long speed for the Cowboys to work into their new-look offense. He joins Ricky Jeune as the second receiver added to the team in training camp, bringing the number of WRs on the roster to 11.

Marchie Murdock, who had two catches for the Cowboys in their preseason opener, was waived (with an injury designation) prior to these roster moves.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek
(Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys did not receive good news on first-year offensive lineman Marcus Martin, as his injury suffered in San Francisco will likely require season-ending surgery. Martin was signed this offseason as a backup guard/center, and without him the Cowboys have a need for further depth up front. Working out six players at positions of need today, the team has signed former Arizona lineman Jacob Alsadek.

DEC Management on Twitter

Congratulations to #TeamDEC client @jacobalsadek on signing with @dallascowboys

This is Alsadek's second stop in the NFL, as he spent most of May with the Green Bay Packers before being released. Alsadek was the cut when the Packers signed former Cowboys Tackle Byron Bell.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Players Cowboys worked out today: Darren Carrington, WR Jacob Alsadek, OL Daronte Bouldin, OL Dominick Sanders, S Ryan Murphy, S Deron Washington, S

The 6'7", 312 pound guard went undrafted in this year's AT&T Stadium hosted draft. He was set to play in the Alliance of American Football League, with an inaugural season scheduled for February.

Now, he's a member of America's Team with a real chance to compete for a backup spot on the best offensive line in the league.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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