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Noah Brown Makes Plays, Earns Praise from Mike McCarthy

This time one week from now, the Dallas Cowboys will enter week one of the 2020 regular season. That means they’ll cut down to their 53-man roster and have their 16-man practice squad set. Now is the time for players to make their push for a spot on the roster.

Though much of the wide receiver depth chart is set with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb at the top, there are still spots to claim. While it’s likely that Cedrick Wilson has already claimed one of those spots, Noah Brown looks to have grabbed the fifth one.

On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys hosted “Cowboys Night,” a season preview into the team while they held a practice at AT&T Stadium. Though there wasn’t much football to see as the team attempted to keep football shots to a minimum, they did release this clip via their Twitter account.

Though there aren’t numbers or names on the jerseys, Noah Brown confirmed that this was him catching the pass from Dak Prescott last night. When asked in the post-practice press conference for his thoughts on Noah Brown, here’s what Head Coach Mike McCarthy had to say.

“I think he’s doing a heck of a job. Obviously coming off his injury, just the things I’ve heard about him in the past, I’m excited for him. Anytime you see a player go through a phase of injury and battle back like he has and the potential he showed coming out. He’s doing a heck of a job. I don’t think there’s been a practice where he hasn’t jumped up and made a play. He’s playing very well.”

Mike McCarthy on Noah Brown, Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

Noah Brown is heading into the fourth and final year of his contract, and though the top of the depth chart is stacked, he has an opportunity to stick to this team because he is a versatile wide receiver with size that can help on special teams. As we’ve seen in the past, Brown can be utilized in the running game as a blocker. He can make plays in the passing game, though those opportunities have been limited.

Brown missed all of 2019 due to injury and has positioned himself well to make the roster. Though it’s the second season in a row where he’s missed significant time due to injury, his experience gives him an edge over some of the younger guys during this shortened offseason and preseason. Brown has never played fewer than 10% of the offensive snaps when available. In 2018, he played 30% of the special teams’ snaps.

Noah Brown is the perfect utility player to have as your fifth wide receiver on the roster. He can play on the outside or in the “big slot” role. They can use him in the running game as a blocker, and he’s proven to be an effective special teams player. That versatility and his production in training camp have more than likely secured him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster out of training camp.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Most folks here seem to be of the mindset that it’s either Noah or Montell because of the similarity as to what they offer. Why not both? If they’ve both outplayed Smith, I don’t think Smith offerring just his speed should warrant a spot? Thoughts?

  2. Pure speed is always a huge asset to an offense. It forces the other team to be ready for deep coverage. Dak is the #1 deep passer in the league, so having a speed guy, deep threat is just reasonable.

    • I get that, but if it’s all you do and all you’re being called on to do, it isn’t the threat being suggested. You don’t necessarily need a guy who is the fasted guy on the field to go deep. You can take any number of WR’s deep to keep defenses playing the deepest part of the field. If Smith is really any good at the other stuff, he’d have the No.4 spot locked up already … bit at this point, he’s not even a lock to make the team.

      Secondly, Dak being called the best deep ball passer in the league is a misnomer. I k is that very stat you are referring to, and it only takes 2019 into account, and does not consider the volume of attempts, the play the WR might have had to make on the ball, etc. He’s a decent deep ball QB, but by no means the best. Gallup would already have a Pro Bowl if Dak hit him on all the deep routes he’s gotten open on.

      I like, and want the speed component but if it’s nothing but track speed w/o a football skill set, it’s not going to get used.

    • With no value on STs Smith, if he even makes the roster, won’t come close to sniffing the game day roster barring injury to the top 4. Speed doesn’t matter if he’s standing on the sideline in sweats.

      • Completely agree. While I think STs matters a bit less for WRs, it matters and it’s what will give Noah Brown the edge. And with need to go long on the OL, DL, and CB, I think they’ll have to go with just 5 at WR.

  3. Keeping six WRs is a possibility, but doubt they will do it just for the sake of doing it. Think that 6th WR would have to really stand out in some way. Spec t or being really versatile is usually the best way to do that for the 5th/6th WR, as it’s possible they never see the field otherwise. I know the emphasis on spec t will be paramount considering the train wreck we saw last yr. so I expect N Brown to be 5th WR. Yea yea I know about the stats thing, but c’mon there has to be some way to determine a QBs long ball proficiency. Stats wise and eye ball test wise Dak is much more then decent in that area. Wonder how many of those bombs Gallup would have dropped.

    • One thing I look for (eye test!) when judging one’s ability to throw a good deep ball is can he do it to all parts of the field. For whatever reason, Dak only throws deep down the sidelines, we never see the good old deep post or post corner routes. The only time I ever recall seeing Dak throw a deep pass that wasn’t to the sidelines or part of a scramble-and-chuck effort was when he hit Smith for a TD vs. WFT. I’d like to see a little more of that mixed in this year, especially with the likes of Jarwin, Lamb, and (hopefully) Pollard worming the seams.

      • So define a deep pass? How many yards. Because Dak began attacking the middle of the field deep more last year. The one deep ball that Devin Smith caught against Washington was on a post route against Washington. In the week 1 opener, he hit Jarwin deep down the middle too.

  4. I think t Diggs should start opposite chido. Normally not hearing a db name is good it means nothing is going wrong. I think Diggs awuzie brown with lewis the backup slot guy worley the backup cb would be a good combination. Woods is solid but d Wilson seems to always make plays. Wilson is wr 4, brown wr5. I dont think we keep 6 wr being as we have 2or 3 we can practice squad. I think we got a top 3 offense top 5 defense. Injurys stay away we ready

  5. I sorta of get where ur coming from. But it’s kinda hard to throw for 5,000 yds only throwing down the sidelines. He is definitely getting big chunk throws to all part of the fields. Agree with John…. Dak is attacking the middle of the field more and I expect he will do that more as he continues to evolve as a QB. Remember he just turned 27 an age where many QBs are entering their prime. He can for sure improve in that area, as well as hitting passes down the seam. Not saying he is Mahomes like in that ability, but he is not lacking in that area by any means.

    • I think some of the unwillingness to throw over the middle of the field was Garrett related. I was a supporter of the guy, but he was risk averse. Kellen and Kitna opened Dak up more. And more aggressive Dak is a good thing

  6. i will say early in Dak career the game plan appeared to lean somewhat towards “game manager” status and pounding the run game (with success). Even in subsequent yrs I noticed an apprehension to throw down the middle of the field (by design of the coaches I’m sure). I can’t help but think this was due to JG not trusting Dak enuf yet, to make those throws in the middle of the field where there is more traffic and more chance of INTS. Instead they leaned more heavily on the running game and more low risk short intermediate throws. However as Dak has evolved, and his ability to read coverages has improved, I see him successfully making those throws with more and more frequency. With JG gone I see them trusting Dak to take more shots down the field. Especially with the weapons we have! Lastly I will say that Dak probably isn’t the gifted passer nor does he have the throws in his repertoire of say a P Mahomes. But he doesn’t have to be otherworldly to help this team win a SB. He just has to be very good which I think he can be.

    • There aren’t any quarterbacks in the NFL that have the ability to do what Mahomes does.

      And you’re right Dak doesn’t have to be otherworldly for the team to win the Super Bowl. Mahomes showed that. He wasn’t great against San Francisco, but they found a way to win the game, because it takes a team effort to win a Super Bowl.

      Dak has progressed incredibly from year one in the league and he’s just now entering his prime as a quarterback.

  7. Agreed! And QB is a position where u can continue to improve into your 30s with it being such a cerebral position to begin with. Dak already possesses all the intangibles u look for in ur franchise QB, and is enormously respected by his teammates. He makes the players around him better with his presence. I believe he is the right QB for this team!

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