With just three preseason games left and a handful of practices, the battle for the sixth wide receiver position is still up for grabs. Now, on most teams this isn't an important topic, but for the Cowboys it is. The Dallas Cowboys haven't carried six healthy wide receivers on their opening day roster since 2012. What makes that change now?
- The talent at the position. The depth the Cowboys currently have at wide receiver may make it the strongest position on the team.
- This is the first year in many that the team will only need to carry two quarterbacks on the 53 man roster.
- Dez Bryant's health has hurt him the last few years. Keeping a developmental “X” receiver on the roster is a good idea for the long-term success of this team.
Andy Jones and Noah Brown are two very talented “X” receivers who seem to be in a pretty close battle. These guys are practicing and playing so good that they're both making cases to be kept on the 53 man roster.
In his first year with the team, Andy Jones was placed on the practice squad but has been receiving high praise and expanded roles from the Cowboys' coaching staff. Jones has started the beginning of his Sophomore season on that same note.
In practice, Andy Jones has been given the role as a back-up punt returner behind Ryan Switzer. Along with the special teams duties, on days that veteran Dez Bryant rests, he has also been getting some work in with the first team offense.
What stands out even more is that Andy Jones has made some plays in the first two preseason games, something he struggled to do last year.
In the little playing time Jones has had in the first two games, he's caught six passes for 50 yards. Now that's nothing that warrants a roster spot, but the fact that the coaches are putting Jones out there and he's making the plays that are thrown his way is a good adjustment from last year.
If not for his teammate, Noah Brown, Andy Jones would likely be handed the sixth wide receiver spot on the team's depth chart, but unfortunately for Jones, Noah Brown stands in his way.
Noah Brown was one of the three draft selections the Dallas Cowboys had in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Brown was drafted as more of a project than a plug-n-play guy, but he's done a nice job transitioning from college to the NFL.
In two preseason games, he has 41 yards on three catches. In his first two games you can seen why the Cowboys like the former Ohio State Buckeye.
Brown isn't overly athletic and doesn't have the route tree that scouts really like to see, but he does have the physical traits you can't teach. Standing at 6'2, 222lbs, Brown has an NFL ready frame and knows how to use it.
In his action with the Cowboys, he has shown that he knows how to use his big frame to bully defenders off the line, high point the ball in the air, and fight for extra yards. Along with being a good receiving option, Brown does a hell of a job in the blocking game.
Blocking is something he took very seriously at Ohio State and it's carrying over to the NFL.
With neither guy really cementing themselves as a sure-fire roster spot, these last three preseason games will be huge for both players. It starts tonight when the Cowboys take to the field to face the Indianapolis Colts in their preseason home opener.
Both players are likely to get plenty of opportunities with only a few games left, but which will prevail? Who do you think will make the final 53 man roster: Noah Brown or Andy Jones?