As has been covered about 100 times the last few months, the Cowboys have overhauled their wide receiver corps this offseason. By bringing in players like Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup, and releasing veteran wide out Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have made a conscious effort to bring in new blood on the perimeter.
So far, the Cowboys’ overhaul has went pretty well. Gallup and Dak Prescott are already developing a strong rapport, Hurns possesses some veteran experience and talent, and Cole Beasley is the most comfortable and established of the group.
At this point five receivers seem like locks to make the team: Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Tavon Austin.
Outside of those five are three receivers who have flashed at times, or at least came into Dallas with some decent expectations. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys keeping more than six receivers on their active roster, meaning that these three might be fighting for just one spot.
Let’s review those three players and discuss what they have to do over the next two weeks to snag that final roster spot.
Ah, what else to say about Lance Lenoir. Lenoir has been the talk of training camp from these receivers, as it seemed as if everyone present at camp fell in love with his consistency and big play flashes. Lenoir developed some trust with quarterback Dak Prescott during practices, but lack of first team reps have stopped us from seeing their connection during actual games.
Prescott won’t play the rest of the preseason, meaning that Lenoir will have to figure it out with Cooper Rush, Mike White, and a banged up backup offensive line. It’s going to be tough for this offense as a whole, but if Lenoir can continue to prove to be a consistent third down threat and reliable route runner, he could win over the coaches one last time.
Lenoir’s week one touchdown was impressive, but I’m not sure if it can hold him over for the final three weeks of preseason. He’s going to need to continue to get it done if he hopes to find himself on the 53 man roster.
The Cowboys signed Thompson nearly directly after releasing Dez Bryant, making Thompson the butt of some jokes since joining the team. Though he got some first team reps early on in camp, injuries have sidelined Thompson for most of the preseason.
He hasn’t been able to show what he can do, though he is known for his speed down the field from his time on previous rosters. Thompson might be a long-shot to make this roster due to both his injury and team competition, but the team clearly liked him enough to bring him in during the free agency period.
I originally thought Thompson had a chance to beat out Terrance Williams for a roster spot, but they have had very different camps thus far. Lance Lenoir has proven to be valuable on Special Teams, Noah Brown is a valuable blocker, and Tavon Austin is the speedy weapon that Thompson would be.
This all probably results in Thompson being the odd man out.
And finally, the fan favorite, Noah Brown.
Considered a long-shot to make the team his rookie year, Noah Brown stole the sixth receiver spot in 2017 after a downright impressive training camp and preseason. Brown also proved valuable during the regular season, especially as a blocker both on the perimeter and at the line of scrimmage.
Like Thompson, injuries have hindered Brown’s ability to impress during this year’s training camp, but we know how the coaches feel about him based on him making the team a year ago. I’d love to see the Cowboys keep Noah Brown around, but it’s looking more and more like that sixth spot is Lance Lenoir’s.