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Dallas Cowboys “In-house” Options to Replace WR Randall Cobb

In-house WR options who could replace Randall Cobb.

Like the year before with Cole Beasley, losing Randall Cobb in free agency is a pretty big blow to the Dallas Cowboys passing game. Both players were Quarterback Dak Prescott’s security blankets when he wanted to get the ball out quickly, but who’s going to step into that role in 2020?

Today, I wanted to take a look at a few “in-house” candidates who could take over for Randall Cobb in the slot this year. The Dallas Cowboys will likely add a few more receivers through the draft due to the depth at the position, however they do have a several intriguing options currently on the roster.

Let’s take a look…

Cedrick Wilson (6’2″, 200)

Cedrick Wilson
Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson

If not for ending up on Injured Reserve the past few seasons, Cedrick Wilson probably would’ve carved himself out a regular role in the Dallas Cowboys passing game. He’s a nuanced route runner with intriguing size and can be a threat on all three levels of the field. His underrated route running ability could allow him to be a big slot option for the Cowboys. He would provide a much different look out of the slot for Dak Prescott.

Jon’Vea Johnson (6’0, 192)

Jon'Vea Johnson
Dallas Cowboys WR Jon’Vea Johnson

Jon’Vea Johnson was a training camp stand out last year and a favorite of former Cowboys WR Coach Sanjay Lal’s. He was in position to earn a roster spot on the final 53, but unfortunately sustained a shoulder injury against the Buccaneers that landed him on IR. He has experience out of the slot and the speed to provide a deep threat element to the passing game as well. If he can prove he can catch the ball more consistently, he could be a surprising candidate to take over for Randall Cobb.

Tony Pollard (6’0, 209)

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

There’s no denying Tony Pollard was underutilized by the Dallas Cowboys last season, especially in the passing game. To rectify that, Mike McCarthy and his new coaching staff could move Pollard into the slot to create favorable matchups in 2020. He was utilized as both a RB and WR at Memphis and the Cowboys would be wise to do the same. He would need to improve as a route runner of course, but he could be a dangerous game changer as Randall Cobb’s replacement.

Blake Jarwin (6’5″, 260)

Blake Jarwin
Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin

We all know Blake Jarwin is probably best utilized as a move TE then as an in-line blocker. So, why not create more mismatches with him lining up in the slot in 2020? His size and athletic ability would put smaller DBs and less athletic LBs at a clear disadvantage. This new coaching staff has to play to his strengths more this year, which is in the passing game, not as a blocker. If utilized correctly, he could be the most dangerous weapon out of the slot on this list.

What do you think?

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Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. Interested to see if Wilson can carve out a regular role. He got good reviews initislly his rookie season. If he can stay heslthy, how good can he become? Hopefully we will get to find out

    • The only thing I know about Cedrick Wilson right now is that he can’t be relied upon to stay healthy. Anything you get from him in 2020 is a bonus. If he can stay healthy though, I think he could work himself into the WR rotation.

  2. Love those options, if they are comfortable with 2 or 3 of these guys, they cam maybe wait on a WR for the 1st 3 rounds and focus on CB, Edge, and C. What about Devin Smith/Lance Lenior are they more of Z or X?

    • I don’t think Smith has the route running ability to play out of the slot and Lenior is no longer with the Cowboys.

  3. Don’t like the idea of slot receiver with catch problems (JonVea Johnson)but, some four wide sets with a combo of WR’s 1&2 lined up outside Jarwin and Wilson inside (big)or Pollard and JonVea as double wingbacks ($peed) creates matchup problems and scheme conflict on multiple levels. Also if the Cowboys could find a big powerback to go with these groupings could possibly be REDZONE purgatory for defenses to match up with…?

    • Jon’ Vea Johnson definitely would be my first choice to replace Randall Cobb, but I would completely rule it out if he’s improved catching the ball. Ideally, I’d take one of the Top 3 WRs at 17 if they’re still available and let the offense prosper. And, you don’t like Zeke as a power back? I think he’s one of the best short yardage RBs in the NFL.

  4. This is silly, we need a WR in this draft. Just because they where good at college doesn’t mean it translates over to the NFL level. This is a wr deep class that you would want to trade back in the first and pick up more draft picks and get a WR around 2nd-4th round.

    • I never said the Dallas Cowboys don’t need a WR in the draft, possibly two. I was merely pointing out they have options currently on the roster who could step in and replace Randall Cobb. I’m all for drafting a receiver, even as early as in the first-round.

    • You kinda contradicted yourself there don’t you think!? You say it’s silly to think about using a in house receiver to replace Cobb cause as you say…. Just because they were good in college doesn’t mean it’ll translate over to the NFL level…. But then you say this is a deep WR class and we need to draft another receiver!! Either way you look at it we’re gonna have a receiver to replace Cobb that came from college!! The only difference is that the receivers we have on the roster now are more NFL experienced than any of the receivers that’ll be drafted in this draft!!

  5. Good list highlighting the options for Da Boys. Hate the Wilson is an injury risk but he is what he is till he proves differently.

    With Pollard, can see Dallas only keeping 5 WRs and fully expect them to add a “slot type” in the draft though there are several X/Y types that are interesting.

    • It’s hard to know exactly how this new coaching staff will shape the roster. I could be wrong, but I think Mike McCarthy likes carrying more WRs than he does RBs. It’s also hard to know what kind of WR they may want to add. A traditional smaller slot WR or maybe a big slot WR? Maybe they want to move Cooper into the slot full-time and bring in another X WR? It’s definitely going to be interesting to find out what they do.

      • Well we had his idea of a slot reciever last year. It was his slot receiver for how ever many seasons. I’d say smaller and quick. Hopefully we get someone with a little surer hands.

        • Honestly, I like the idea of a big slot WR. Someone like Chase Claypool would be really interesting. I doubt the Cowboys agree, but I like the mismatches it would create.

  6. I’d like to see pollard out in space with the ball more this season. Vastly underutilized last year. Out of that list I think he’s durable enough to be very effective in a slot rotation.

  7. i think Pollard should be the choice to play the slot. they should draft a wide receiver but it is a huge transition to the pros. you have to be a super star if your going to start in the NFL. as a rookie or play a lot of snaps. leave JARWIN at TE i think he will really make a difference this year.

    • I like the idea of using Pollard in the slot more, but I think he really needs to improve as a route runner first. I think the Cowboys can find a starting caliber slot WR in the draft. They are able to hit the ground running more quickly since they don’t have to face man coverage very often.

  8. I like Wilson if he can definitely stay healthy. But if we can wait in the draft I’m a big fan of KJ Hill out of Ohio State. Feel like he would fit right in with this offense. Another option would be Jalen Reagor from TCU

  9. Perfect position for Tavon Austin. Speed, separation to make
    Dak comfortable and experience…perfect fit. Go D at 17!

    • The problem with Tavon Austin is he’s never really developed into a very good WR. He’s at his best when he can get the ball in space or as a deep threat. I really don’t think he’s the answer as the Cowboys next slot WR.

  10. Yes to Wilson give him an opportunity. But Jon’Vea Johnson??? He should not have made the practice squad. He dropped 7 passes in preseason. His competition, Jalen Guyton, should have easily made the practice squad over Johnson.

    • I really think Wilson can have a breakout season if he can stay healthy. As far as Johnson is concerned though, there’s a lot to like about his skill set but the drops are a huge concern. If they can clean that up he has a chance to work himself into the WR rotation.

  11. Brian … I’ll take one of the top WR at 17. Pollard can used used MORE, but I don’t want him to replace a full time slot receiver. Wilson is reminding me of Hurd and actually Austin who were injured it seemed forever in order to make it on the field. Austin never a slot guy for whatever reason.
    Johnson has to be reliable with the catch. The last thing we need is a slot guy popping passes up in the middle of the field for gifts to the enemies: Opposing teams and Dak haters.

    Zeke too has been under utilized as a receiver as well. So has the FB.

    So if one of the top WRs that would be considered NFL ready is there then take him.
    I know we need help on defense, but I want that other element of the big play WR on our team. One that doesn’t take 5 seconds to get open. Our OL, as it stands, is taking a hit. Pro Bowl Center is gone. Our LG has been a history of injuries and if I’m correct that dependable backup too is gone.
    Did we also lose the backup to Tyrone Smith???

    This could have an affect on a running and passing games. I’m also with you on the bigger slot guy. Someone with exceptional speed, hands and route running.

    • I’m all for taking one of the top WRs at 17. Also, yes we did lose Cameron Fleming. He left to join the Giants.

    • I like Noah brown there also. He’s just disappeared over the years but is a very capable reciever that’s overlooked a lot Because hes such as good blocker.

      I’m not giving up on him yet.

      • I’ve been a pretty big fan of Noah Brown, but he just can’t seem to stay healthy hasn’t proven he can be a reliable weapon in the passing game. Maybe that changes with a new coaching staff, but I kinda have my doubts.

    • I consider Noah Brown, but I don’t really think he would be very good in the slot. He is more of a traditional outside WR. And as far as Dez Bryant is concerned, I think that ship has sailed. As much as I would like to see him back in a Cowboys uniform I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

  12. I like the idea of using Tony Pollard in the slot, and I like the idea of using Cedric Wilson in the slot too…. I’d be happy to see Cedric Wilson as the main slot receiver for us!! I have been a big fan of Cedric Wilson for a while now, he was one of my pet cats coming out of the draft!! I think if he can stay healthy he’d be a really good starter in the middle of Cooper and Gallup!! If he can stay healthy I think we’ll be good with him as the starter at slot and have Pollard come in at times to give him a breather!!

    • I agree with hopefully seeing Tony Pollard and maybe Cedrick Wilson (if he can stay healthy) used in the slot more. Of course, all that could change if the Dallas Cowboys draft a WR who skill set is best utilized out of the slot.

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