It's been a little over four months since Randall Cobb left the frozen tundra of Green Bay for the bright lights of Dallas, but his impact is already being felt.
The veteran receiver put a bug in the ear of Dak Prescott at the NFL Honors ceremony the night before the Super Bowl, telling him “Hey man, come get me”. After the departure of Cole Beasley in March to Buffalo, the Dallas Cowboys needed the slot position filled expeditiously, and did so with Cobb.
There is a huge advantage the Cowboys have with Cobb as opposed to Beasley. He isn't limited to just being in the slot beating guys underneath. He can not only do that, and do it well, but he can play either outside position, beating defensive backs vertically. With up and coming young stud Michael Gallup alongside him, this makes life easier for Amari Cooper. Double teams can't happen as frequently on him with multiple downfield threats. This gives Cooper the chance to annihilate corners with what I think is his best route, the slant, critical when it comes to converting third downs in short-yardage situations.
This also helps Ezekiel Elliott in the running game. Teams can't as easily load the box with eight and nine-man fronts, something is all too often seen during the days of Scott Linehan and his predictable scheme. Being able to keep defenses honest by making sure the back end is covered works right into the Cowboys plan of controlling the clock by pounding the rock.
The biggest beneficiary, of course, is Dak Prescott. You give a quarterback more weapons the better his chances are to succeed, it's that simple. During OTA's it didn't take long for the franchise signal-caller to see the effect Cobb can have on the offense. “I mean, honestly, put him in the backfield, but outside, put him inside, ask him to block, ask him to take a jet sweep. I mean, he's got film doing all those things really well. I think if we're not utilizing all of his athleticism and just his versatility, then we're cheating him as a player and we're not getting everything we want as an offense,” Prescott said.
After being in Green Bay for eight seasons it isn't surprising that coming to Dallas was an adjustment.
“I felt like a little kid, lost. I didn't know where to go after each drill, each station. So I'm just looking around, seeing where the other receivers are finding my way around,” Cobb said.
If he felt lost he definitely hasn't let it stop him from turning heads early in Dallas with his unique skill set and football knowledge.
“Since I've been here, we're going through the installations, and I'm having a little bit of a mental challenge as far as so many of the same plays being different calls. Just trying to get more acclimated to the playcalling here, and making sure I'm using the right terminology so I'm on the same page with everybody,” Cobb said.
New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is looking to make this offense more dynamic, and having a player with this kind of mental awareness is key in that happening.
Cobb is only on a one year deal worth 5 million, so he'll definitely have to show and prove if he wants to have a star on his helmet long term. Hopefully, with health on his side, the Cowboys may have not only added a piece for the upcoming season but possibly even longer if the results pan out.