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Can WR Lance Lenoir Make Cowboys’ 2018 Roster?

Jess Haynie



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!

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

Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts

Sean Martin



Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts

For the first time since 2003, the Dallas Cowboys were shutout on Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts. Their five game winning streak snapped, the Cowboys also saw their chances at clinching the NFC East dashed before the late kickoffs. Needing both a Redskins and Eagles loss to win the division without the benefit of a win themselves, the Redskins kept their playoff hopes alive with a walk off field goal at the Jaguars.

Washington Quarterback Josh Johnson won his second start since 2013 with 151 yards and one touchdown. The Redskins aren't the only NFC East team playing with a backup QB, as the Eagles must once again rally around Nick Foles against the Rams to extend their shot at the playoffs on Sunday Night Football. 

The Cowboys certainly didn't deserve a celebration of any kind after their performance at the Colts. An emotional letdown after a win streak that featured triumphs over the Eagles twice, Redskins, and Saints, the Cowboys were slowed to a complete stop on offense while struggling fundamentally on defense.

Uncharacteristic missed tackles and lack of pressure on Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck allowed Indianapolis to turn a 10-0 halftime lead into an easy 23-0 win. Defending their home field, the Colts came out like a team still fighting for their playoff lives, while Dallas played like a team knowing two more chances at winning the division are still to come.

Instead of being able to watch and root against the Eagles tonight, the Cowboys can focus on not letting an embarrassing loss define a season that'll still end on a high note should they defeat the Buccaneers or Giants. A week 16 or 17 win automatically seals the division for the Cowboys, even with the Redskins improving to 7-7 moments before the Colts secured their shutout.

It was a masterful performance from Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus, preparing his team against Scott Linehan's offense to disrupt the momentum of one of the league's hottest teams.

Praising the Redskins for defeating a Jaguars team the Cowboys handled 40-7 much earlier in the season is hardly the situation Cowboys Nation wants to be in right now, but the team still has everything in front of them once Sunday's sixth loss is put behind them.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Game Notes

IND 23, DAL 0: Cowboys Get Shut Out, Embarrassed by Colts

Jess Haynie



Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

The Dallas Cowboys must think they've already won the NFC East, because they looked like a team with nothing to play for today. The result was an embarrassing 23-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Cowboys were shut out for the first time since the 2003 season, which was Jason Witten's rookie year.

Dallas squandered a major time-of-possession advantage in the first half, finishing three drives with a blocked field goal, punt, and a failed 4th-and-1 play near the Colts' goal line. Indianapolis capitalized on their own drives and took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

The Colts got the ball back to start the third quarter and drove down for another touchdown. Down 17-0, Dallas responded with a weak drive and a punt. The game felt out of reach even then, with the Cowboys just looking flat from that point forward.

Ezekiel Elliott had 87 rushing yards 41 receiving for some empty production. Amari Cooper won't be winning any awards this week, held to just four catches for 32 yards.

Dak Prescott completed 62% of his passes for 206 yards. He was sacked three times and threw a late interception; an overthrown ball got tipped by the receiver and picked off on the team's final offensive series.

While the offense was especially bad today, the defense wasn't much better. Dallas surrendered 139 yards rushing yards and two touchdown to Colts RB Marlon Mack, who hadn't had a 100-yard game since October. Andrew Luck wasn't sacked and went virtually untouched the entire day.

The Cowboys could have taken the NFC East with a win, but they didn't come close. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call with the postseason only a few weeks away.

Other Notes

  • With the Redskins defeating the Jaguars today, Dallas will have to wait until next week to try to clinch the NFC East. The Cowboys needed losses by both Washington and Philadelphia if they didn't win themselves. The Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.
  • The Cowboys will get some softer competition to finish the year, hosting the Buccaneers next week and then going to play the Giants in Week 17.
  • With the Bears defeating the Packers today and moving to 10-4, they will likely stay the #3 seed in the playoffs. That means Dallas, assuming they do win the NFC East, will almost certainly be hosting the 5th-seeded Seahawks in the first round.
  • Jaylon Smith led the Cowboys with 11 tackles, but neither he or Leighton Vander Esch were making the big plays that we've grown accustomed to.
  • Xavier Woods had the highlight play on defense, delivering a perfect hit to dislodge the ball from Colts TE Eric Ebron and stop a potential big gain.
  • Blake Jarin and Dalton Schultz combined for seven catches for 68 yards; another week of increased TE production from what we've seen must of the year.
  • Fullback Jamize Olawale doesn't get many opportunities on offense, and he may not get more after dropping an open touchdown on the team's second drive of the day.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Trailing Colts 10-0 at Halftime

Jess Haynie



Dak Prescott

The Cowboys have had no trouble moving the ball today, but they've failed to finish drives with points. Dallas is thus trailing the Indianapolis Colts 10-0 at halftime.

Dallas has had possession for over 19 minutes compared to just 10 for the Colts. But their three drives have ended with a blocked field goal, a failed 4th-and-1 play near the endzone, and a punt.

Ezekiel Elliott has 64 rushing yards and 23 receiving so far today. Dak Prescott has completed 12-of-19 for 106 yards, but has been sacked twice.

The offensive line continues to suffer from health issues. With Zack Martin already out and Connor Williams starting at right guard, Xavier Su'a-Filo left the game with an eye injury during the second quarter and will not return. Backup Adam Redmond is now playing.

The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win in any of their final three games. They could also clinch today if the Redskins and Eagles lose. Washington is trailing 10-3 in Jacksonville at halftime, and the Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.

Hopefully, Dallas will start showing up on the scoreboard in the second half.

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