‘The first two weeks of 2020 training camp practices have caused some Cowboys players' stocks to rise and fall based on reported performance. One player who's on the way back up is fourth-year WR prospect Noah Brown, trying to re-establish himself as a roster contender after two injury-plagued seasons.
Brown has been with Dallas since being a 7th-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He earned a spot at the bottom of the depth chart that year with his special teams work and perceived potential on offense, appearing in 13 games but only having five catches.
During that 2017 preseason, Noah flashed things that reminded you of a young Dez Bryant. He had tremendous power for a WR and made some nice plays with the ball in his hands. But what really kept him around that year was how he used that strength as a blocker.
Unfortunately, injuries have stunted Brown's development as a receiver for the Cowboys the last two seasons. He missed the 2018 preseason and spent half the year on injured reserve with a hamstring issue. He did return to his special teams role for the final eight games, but was again a relative non-factor on offense.
Brown missed all of 2019 with a knee injury that required surgery. He started camp on the PUP list and eventually hit IR as the regular season began.
Finally health again, Noah Brown has returned to action in this 2020 training camp and has been reminding people of his value. As of now, some Dallas insiders are pegging him a one of the top contenders to make the roster.
ESPN's Todd Archer tweeted the following today as he made various observations from Cowboys training camp:
If I had to pick a No. 5 receiver at the moment, I'm going with Noah Brown. He's gotten better as camp has gone on. I know his special teams' background. He can play multiple roles. Maybe the Cowboys keep six but how do they get them all to the game?
Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News chimed in on Brown's performance a couple of days ago:
Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown looking good during practices. Wilson made a contested catch with Daryl Worley covering him tightly.
The top-four receivers for 2020 appear to already be locked in: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Cedrick Wilson. Injury is probably the only thing disrupting that group now.
There are other receivers in camp right now that we're all intrigued by. Devin Smith is a former 2nd-round pick that we hoped would blossom last year but never really delivered. Ventell Bryant was a late addition to the 2019 roster who reminds you of Brown with his size and special teams work. And then there are Jon'Vea Johnson, Aaron Parker, and other prospects we've discussed this offseason.
But as of today, it's Noah Brown who appears to be separating from the pack for one of the last spots on the depth chart. While Smith may be a more polished offensive weapon and Bryant brings similar skills on special teams, it sounds like Brown is doing just enough in both areas to get noticed.
This will be the final year of Noah's rookie contract, amazingly still intact despite his humble beginnings and recent adversity. He needs to keep this positive momentum going and finally stay healthy long enough to make the team and contribute in the regular season.
At least for now, Noah Brown's 2020 season is off to a much better start than the last two. At the current rate, he's looking good for a roster spot and an increased role in this pivotal contract year.