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Is Lucky Whitehead’s Roster Spot Secure?

A month ago, I wrote an article about whether or not an expanded role was in the future for Lucky Whitehead, and now I’m questioning if there will even be a roster spot available for Whitehead once the final cuts are made. Don’t get me wrong, Lucky Whitehead has an intriguing skill set that could be used in several different ways for an offensive coordinator as creative as Scott Linehan, but he’s facing some stiff competition at the wide receiver position. In 2015, Whitehead was mostly utilized on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. Toward the end of the season he started to get more time on offense in the Lance Dunbar type of role. They used Lucky Whitehead on jet sweeps and as a receiver out of the backfield the same way they used Dunbar before his injury.

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure?

A month ago, I wrote an article about whether or not an expanded role was in the future for Lucky Whitehead, and now I'm questioning if there will even be a roster spot available for Whitehead once the final cuts are made.

Don't get me wrong, Lucky Whitehead has an intriguing skill set that could be used in several different ways for an offensive coordinator as creative as Scott Linehan, but he's facing some stiff competition at the wide receiver position.

In 2015, Whitehead was mostly utilized on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. Toward the end of the season he started to get more time on offense in the Lance Dunbar type of role. They used Lucky Whitehead on jet sweeps and as a receiver out of the backfield the same way they used Dunbar before his injury.

If that's the same type of role Whitehead will have in the upcoming season, I have a hard time believing that he is worthy of a roster spot when they are so valuable.

Lucky Whitehead is only 5'8" and somewhere around 180 pounds, so that really limits what he can do offensively for the Dallas Cowboys.

We all know that there is no way Lucky Whitehead will ever be able to beat out Cole Beasley as the Cowboys' slot receiver. Not only has Beasley developed really good chemistry with Tony Romo, but he's just a better wide receiver than Whitehead. And because of his size, Whitehead isn't really an option at outside receiver either. So can you justify one of those valuable roster spots going to a player that is mainly going to be used as a returner on special teams?

I know as I sit here right now, I can't say for certain that Lucky Whitehead will make the team after training camp. There are new rule changes on kickoffs in 2016 that will impact whether or not teams decide to carry a kick returner, and no one really knows how teams will approach that change.

Not only that, but if you've been paying attention to the news coming out of recent OTAs and the mini-camp, there are other wide receivers making plays and they might just make Lucky Whitehead expendable.

Is Vince Mayle a Threat to Lucky Whitehead?

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure? 1

(G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

Second-year wide receiver Vince Mayle has been mentioned a time or two for making plays. At 6'2" and 224 pounds, Mayle has a size that the Cowboys seem to like in their wide receivers, and he could provide valuable depth if someone was to go down with an injury.

Vince Mayle was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, but was ultimately one of their final roster cuts when they were getting down to their final 53 man roster.

He spent nearly the entire year on the Cowboys' practice squad, but their patience with his development may very well pay off, and that could mean bad news for Lucky Whitehead.

Is Andy Jones a Threat to Lucky Whitehead?

Undrafted rookie wide receiver Andy Jones has also opened a lot of eyes during these unpadded practices. Jones has even been given the opportunity to practice with the first team unit, something that can't be discounted considering he's working with Tony Romo.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure? 2

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Like Mayle, Andy Jones (6'2", 214) has a size advantage over Lucky Whitehead and the fact that he's already been given reps with the first team offense doesn't really bode well for Whitehead's chances to make the team.

Jones was one of the Cowboys' 14 undrafted free agents, and received the highest signing bonus ($15,000) of any of the UFAs.

With Dez Bryant a no-brainer to make the team, along with Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and probably Brice Butler rounding out the top four wide receivers, Lucky Whitehead and the rest of the WRs are battling for that #5 spot. Personally, I don't see the Cowboys carrying more than five receivers on the 53 man roster, especially considering how thin the defensive line is to start the season.

If Lucky Whitehead wants to remain on the Cowboys roster in 2016, he is going to have to start proving to the coaching staff that he is worth keeping around. That he is able to contribute more on offense than other wide receivers.

Again, I have nothing against Lucky Whitehead, but with the receiver position as deep as it has been in recent memory, it's going to be an interesting position to keep track of once training camp gets underway.

Do you think Lucky Whitehead remains a Cowboy in 2016?

Please use the comment section below, because I would love to hear your feedback and discuss this topic further.



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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11 Comments
  • Aerdna Smailliw

    Sure, I sew Whitehead making the final roster. Despite what the article states , Lucky has put on 12 lbs of muscle and has been working on the outside WR spots. It is Beasley who is limited due to his diminutive size of 5'8. 176 lbs, not Whitehead. Lucky is also extremely fast and sure handed as evidenced by his performance after Beasley struggled catching and fumbling kicks. Whitehead did not have a turnover in 2015. All he needs is more opportunies, let's not make the same mistake we made in allowing Dwayne Harris to walk.

    • Brian Martin

      I'm going to respectfully disagree. I don't think Whitehead is close to being as good as Cole Beasley as a receiver. Beasley has arguably the best hands on the team with the exception of Bryant. I'm not saying that I don't think Whitehead can't make the team, but I think he's in a battle for that fifth WR spot. I don't know if the Cowboys can afford to carry six wide receivers with the defensive line so thin.

  • Jeff Anderson

    I think he definitely makes the roster while Lance Dunbar recovers fully. I think his biggest battle may be with Dunbar and not the other receivers because of their similar abilities. I don't see any of our taller receivers being able to match his skill set.

    • Brian Martin

      Jeff, everything you say is true. I even wrote an article about how Lucky Whitehead and Lance Dunbar have a similar skill set about a month ago. Personally, I'm actually kind of hoping that Darius Jackson can fill that Dunbar type role. Jackson actually has an opportunity to prove himself while Darren McFadden is out. There are definitely some position battles that will be really interesting to keep track of throughout training camp.

  • Jeff Cook

    The only WR that would shock me more than Lucky to see make the 53 would be Street

    • Brian Martin

      I don't see any scenario where Street makes the team. He's had his chances and unfortunately hasn't been able to prove he's worth keeping around.

  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    I talked about this on Cowboys Cast a couple of weeks ago, but I have a tangent type theory on why Lucky is safe.

    Look at how engrained he is in the team's image. He's one of the faces of the franchise. He's allowed to do things like run their Snapchat account and he got to compete in Dirk's celebrity softball game… Not everyone is on that status level.

    Do these things have ANYTHING to do with his football skills? Of course not. But I think they're indicative that he's valued to a legitimate degree. To the point made in here you don't see Devin Street being given those opportunities.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • Brian Martin

    RJ, I can't argue with any of that. I was mostly judging him based on his football performance. Whitehead has quickly become a fan favorite, but he is limited to what he can do offensively and I'm not sure he is worth keeping around as a return specialist due to the changes to the new kickoff rules. I like Whitehead, but as a receiver I think I will always want more than what he can offer. I think Andy Jones and Ed Eagan could possibly give him a run for his money if the Cowboys decide to keep just five WRs on the 53 man roster. Training camp can't get here quick enough to hopefully start sorting some of these position battles out.

  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    Agreed Brian!

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • MB

    Whitehead sucks. If they keep him just add another blunder to the list of management fumbles. His hair and mouth piece alone are enough reason to cut him. Plenty of other recievers 10x more talented.

    • Brian Martin

      MB, I appreciate you taking the time to comment about Lucky Whitehead. I agree partly with what you said. I wouldn't personally go as far as saying Whitehead sucks. I think he is very limited in what he can do as a WR, mostly because of his size. I think if he does make the final 53 man roster again it will be because of his special teams ability. I really think it will ultimately come down between Whitehead and Lance Dunbar. We saw a small sample size of Whitehead filling in that role that Lance Dunbar did prior to his knee injury and I think the Cowboys really like that kind of offensive threat. I do agree with you that I think there are some better WRs competing for that roster spot with Whitehead. I personally like Ed Eagan and Andy Jones Moore is a receiver. Unfortunately, we won't get an answer until the final roster cuts.

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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud 1

For the second straight week, the Dallas Cowboys will go into a game with a new look at the wide receiver position. Such a rotation was expected when the team moved on from Dez Bryant this offseason, who also found a job this week with the New Orleans Saints. Debuting Amari Cooper as their new star on the outside Monday night, the Cowboys will add Noah Brown and Lance Lenoir to their WR corps in Philadelphia on Sunday.

https://twitter.com/DMN_George/status/1060982854010761219

Brown began practicing with the team for the first time since training camp last week. The Cowboys had to make a decision within three weeks on his roster status for the rest of the season, choosing now to activate the second-year draft pick.

Brown is a trusted blocker on the outside that has a year in this offense under his belt. Though he wasn't used much as a rookie, it's clear that the Cowboys envision Brown being a part of their future, releasing this year's FA signing Deonte Thompson in favor of both him and Lance Lenoir.

Thompson caught just 14 passes in Dallas, injured against the Titans as he conceded the jet sweep role in the Cowboys offense to Cornerback Jourdan Lewis for the second straight week.

Lenoir earns his shot after a year with the Cowboys himself, albeit off the practice squad. The UDFA out of Western Illinois has been a fan-favorite since arriving in Oxnard and making plays. Lenoir's toughness as a receiver that can stretch the field and high point the ball against contact is something the Cowboys have had a need for all season, not finding a spot for Lance until now.

Treston Decoud is the other player cut from the Cowboys roster to make room for both receivers. The defensive back was active for his only game with the Cowboys against the Titans, signed to the practice squad in September.

Coming off a loss in which Cole Beasley was targeted just four times and Ezekiel Elliott carried 17 times, the Cowboys may need to focus on getting their established play makers more involved this week to have a chance on the road. This may limit the immediate impact that both Brown and Lenoir could make, but at 0-4 in road contests this season, the Cowboys are desperate for any signs of life in an NFC East that remains for-the-taking.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss

Sean Martin

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Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss

The Dallas Cowboys 28-14 loss on Monday night to the Tennessee Titans at AT&T Stadium was crushing to their hopes of making the playoffs out of a weak NFC East this season. Remaining in the hunt with a 3-5 record may be the only thing stopping the Cowboys from making immediate changes in personnel or coaching. This season's struggles, mainly on offense, have also not changed the long-term outlook for the Cowboys at the most important position in sports -- quarterback.

Just as Jason Garrett frustratingly remains the guy at Head Coach, and Scott Linehan at Offensive Coordinator, Quarterback Dak Prescott is on track for an extension following the 2019 season according to his owner and GM Jerry Jones.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Dak is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, he's young and he's gonna get extended." - Jerry Jones on @1053thefan. Holy cow. The worst news of the year.

The Cowboys have yet to win on the road this season. With trips to Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Indianapolis still to come Dallas could play their way into a forced change at one of these three positions.

With so many new first-year coaches in the building, the Cowboys might not see a suitable replacement for Garrett and Linehan at The Star right now though. Without a first round pick, traded for Amari Cooper in favor of any 2019 receiver prospects, the same could also go for Prescott.

Extending Dak while remaining aggressive about upgrading at QB could be the smart choice for the Cowboys. Nothing about their current makeup points to this being the case, but a decision on Prescott's contract is not due until after next season.

Getting a passer that's accomplished more than Prescott on the team for next season is understandably difficult. The top free agent quarterbacks are likely Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown, who would both do little more than cash checks they don't deserve against the Cowboys cap.

Prescott can do the same thing for another year on his rookie deal, and beyond on a contract that pays him like the backup QB the Cowboys should be preparing for.

This lines up well with a crop of 2020 QB prospects that are already in the national spotlight, such as Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert. Of course, the Cowboys would have to struggle once again to pick high enough for either passer to be a possibility.

It also remains to be seen if Herbert will declare for this year's draft instead.

Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss 1

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

It's been quite the fall from grace for Dak Prescott, who managed nine wins in a season where Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was lost for six games just a year ago. Now, the Cowboys take Elliott out of games themselves with a game plan that relies on Prescott being someone he isn't.

The end result has been Prescott ending up on the losing end of too many games where he simply didn't do enough for the Cowboys, hardly an enviable position to be in at QB in today's high-scoring NFL.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

Jerry on Dak: "He's gonna get extended." @1053SS and @RJChoppy: *stunned silence* https://t.co/kSrCjB8QP5

Who Prescott is on a merely factual level is a fourth round pick that's not consistent enough from the pocket to win games. The entire Cowboys organization can't be blind to the fact that running out this same coaching staff with Prescott under center in 2019 is a punt on an entire season, a stark contrast from their win-now approach with Prescott in 2016 and most of 2017.

That 2017 season that yielded nine wins, which would require a 6-2 record for the Cowboys from this point on, did ultimately result in the firing of/changing of seven coaches below Garrett and his coordinators.

What Jerry Jones doesn't see is a viable option for the team to move forward without Prescott. At least as of Tuesday morning, off a Monday loss, and at the very least not before the end of next season. What Cowboys Nation sees is a quarterback that would hardly be viable elsewhere, especially in a Dallas organization that's literally proving why they aren't a fit for a QB like him while talking about a contract extension.

A coaching change would be the only thing the Cowboys can do to create some optimism for Prescott, giving their new coach a proven commodity at quarterback and allowing him to make a decision from there. Jones didn't sign off from 105.3 The Fan without further votes of confidence in his top coaches, but talks of extending them are silently in the distance.

A Dak Prescott extension should rightfully be the end of the coaches responsible for handing him the keys and steering him off path from 2016 Rookie of the Year to reeling 2018 starter still feeling the effects from how last season ended.

The Cowboys desperately need further change, and if it's not coming soon at quarterback it should be expected elsewhere.

Tell us what you think about "Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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