This morning, I wrote about the latest wrinkle for the Cowboys deep group of receivers, and now – just hours before kickoff at AT&T Stadium against the Cardinals – the receiving corps is one deeper. Free agent acquisition Deonte Thompson will be seeing his first game action with the team.
Thompson is one of three receivers that's yet to see the field for the Cowboys. The other two, Darren Carrington and Dres Anderson, were both acquired after training camp began. Ricky Jeune is also on this list, and has played just nine snaps through two preseason games.
This presented Thompson with the opportunity to carry his momentum from the start of camp into the regular season, as the Cowboys are certainly looking for more speed on the outside. In six seasons, Thompson is averaging 13.4 yards per receptions.
The pressure will now be on for Thompson to deliver in tonight's game. With injuries around him, particularly the loss of rookie deep threat Cedrick Wilson, Thompson may have felt like he was free to skate the rest of the preseason and still make the Cowboys 53-man roster.
Thompson will still have to wait to develop his chemistry further with Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys patchwork offensive line must give QBs Cooper Rush and Mike White enough time for him to get down the field, but the team will still have legitimate game reps from all the receivers that have a real chance at making the roster.
Even if the Cowboys keep only six receivers, I wrote previously that Thompson would be above this cut line for me. It's hard to imagine this changing based on anything he can do in eight remaining quarters of preseason football, nor his efforts pushing any other pass catcher off the team.
Deonte Thompson's presence tonight and next week against Houston is simply about the Cowboys receivers continuing to be ahead of schedule through training camp. With injuries all around them on offense, Dallas has to be pleased with their support cast for Prescott and featured Running Back Ezekiel Elliott – who they feel good enough about to rest until the regular season.