Welcome back to another edition of the Rookie Round Series. Last week, we kicked off the inaugural series, and it seems you all loved it. Well, most of you all.
But I decided to give this week's series a little razzle-dazzle and change things up because I don't want to be too predictable (kind of like former HC Jason Garrett and his play-calling on 3rd down) with my writing.
With that in mind, instead of giving you all the whole spill on each drafted rookie, I decided to split it up between offense and defense–but also throw some love towards some UDFAs.
So without further ado, check out the rest below.
Tyler Smith Is Looking Like He Was The Right Pick.
While he hasn't been a part of an actual NFL game yet, LG Tyler Smith has shown throughout Training Camp that he's a natural, and he's ready to slide right in to contribute. One of my favorite plays from this week on Smith was when the coaches designed had him get out in space and lead the charge to block for RB Ezekiel Elliott on a screen pass.
I know some people are probably like, “C'mon, it's just camp– wait till it's the real thing–blah, blah, blah.” Well, Smith sure does look damn good, and he's been getting a lot of praise from the media. If the season started today, I would predict that Smith would start at LG and solve left guard troubles that people pointed out for the Cowboys early this offseason.
Like the pick or not, Smith is quietly putting together a strong camp, and if he stays on this trend and balls out like this in real action, we could be talking about Smith leading the charge of the next era of Great Cowboys Linemen.
(Is it way too early to say that? Probably, oh well.)
Mr. WR2 Jalen Tolbert. That has a nice ring to it.
After a foot injury to WR James Washington, WR Jalen Tolbert looks like he has the WR2 gig with his name written all over it to start the season. While it may not be ideal to have a rookie start as your WR2 to start the year, Tolbert has shown little signs of being a rookie.
Whether you factor in the fact that he's facing “inferior Dallas Cowboys DBs,” as people love to call them, Tolbert has shown how dangerous he can be in the receiving game, and I wouldn't be surprised if he remains their WR2 even when WR Michael Gallup comes back.
As mentioned above, while it's not ideal to have Tolbert as your WR2, and I understand they could still add a veteran wideout, I'm pulling my best Jerry Jones impersonation and saying: “I like our guys.”
With the ability to play inside and outside, I'm excited to see how OC Kellen Moore will use him on the field.
(Imagining him, Lamb, Turpin, and Pollard on the field in their “11 personnel” package gives me goosebumps because the speed on the field would be insane, and defenses would have problems defending all four playmakers.)
Not a lot of TE Jake Ferguson this week, but he's still a baller.
After having a pretty solid outing last week in camp, there wasn't much TE Jake Ferguson love this week because of a hamstring issue. (Hurting your hamstring hurts, man.)
But, from what you hear from coaches on Ferguson and seeing his comments that he embraces the learning curve and wants to get better, I'm doubling down that he's their future starting TE. Because of contract issues, there could be a chance that TE Dalton Schultz leaves next offseason, and if that's the case, Ferguson will have the first crack at replacing him. And I'm telling you, I bet he's going to be a monster.
(To the dynasty fantasy football guys, you can thank me later when you're able to pick up Ferguson to stash him for your future– because that guy is worth it.)
Oh, and I almost forgot, this was undoubtedly my favorite quote from Ferguson below because I LOVE cheese curds.
Cowboys rookie TE Jake Ferguson (Wisconsin) when asked today why cheese curds are so great: "Sometimes they get in the fryer together and they make one mega curd. And you're lucky if you get that one on your plate."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 2, 2022
No update on Waleztzko, but he's still an intriguing prospect.
In my inaugural piece, I covered why I'm excited about his upside, but with him still nursing a shoulder injury, there was nothing to report on him. Keep your head high and stay tall, Mr. Waleztko.
UDFA WR Dennis Houston Turning Heads.
With a big question mark on who's stepping up in the WR rotation beyond WRs Ceedee Lamb and Tolbert, UDFA WR Dennis Houston is making a case for himself to earn a spot on the field. According to multiple reports from Training Camp, Houston has been turning heads since OTAs and has earned the trust and praise from QB Dak Prescott.
As we all know, the franchise has a noteworthy history of turning UDFAs into either solid contributors or big-time legends, so there's a chance that Houston could be next-in-line. While I'm not claiming him as legend status, I'm leaning towards the side of him becoming a solid contributor.
Expect Houston to either crack the WR rotation this year or make a name for himself on the practice squad. But if you all aren't too familiar with the Western Illinois product, here is a video of him balling out on offense, and I hope you enjoyed this week's Rookie Roundup.
With that I'm in mind, I'm out. But before I forget, “Cowboys Nation, let's ride.”