Heading into training camp, the wide receiver battle for the back half of the depth chart is one the under radar position battles to watch. After Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb, there are no certainties among a wide receiver group that is very deep. There are talented veterans, draft picks, and undrafted free agents battling it out for the final three or four spots on the roster. The competition opened up a little more after the release of veteran Wide Receiver Allen Hurns on Tuesday.
The player that stands to benefit the most is second-year wide receiver, Cedrick Wilson.
During his first season with the Dallas Cowboys, sixth-round pick Cedrick Wilson was turning heads, leading a lot of people to believe that he'd be on the 53-man roster heading into week one of the 2018 season. Unfortunately for Wilson, he tore his labrum, which forced him to miss the entirety of his rookie season.
It was a disappointing start to a career that looks promising after being highly productive over his final two seasons at Boise State University.
Over his final two seasons at Boise State, Wilson averaged 19 yards per reception on 139 receptions. That's a better number than what Marquise Brown put up at Oklahoma, though Brown played against much tougher competition.
At Boise State, Wilson didn't win with elite speed like Brown, but he was able to win with good size and athleticism. Though he didn't have elite speed, Wilson was able to consistently get behind the defense for big plays in the passing game. He's a good route runner who is able to run a full route tree and play all over the formation. He's a slippery player who was able to break tackles and make people miss picking up big yards after the catch even on passes in the short part of the field.
Cedrick Wilson could be yet another sixth-round draft pick that has worked out for the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. Following Anthony Brown and Kavon Frazier in 2016 and Xavier Woods in 2017, Wilson has the opportunity to carve out a role on the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver depth chart.
Wilson can function in the slot with his route running ability and has the size to win over the middle. The NFL has started using bigger wide receivers in the slot like Michael Thomas in New Orleans or Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona and Cedrick Wilson has the size and ability to be a functional player there as well. He also has the ability to play on the outside, which makes him a perfect backup for the Dallas Cowboys. Wilson can fill in for Gallup, Cooper, or Cobb if called upon. His ability to play across the formation is similar to that of Allen Hurns, which makes Wilson a solid option to replace Hurns' role on the wide receiver depth chart.
2019 is a very important training camp for Cedrick Wilson. Though he's a former draft pick, he needs to establish himself as an option for the Dallas Cowboys. He has the talent to be a depth option for the team, but he needs to stay healthy and show it on a consistent basis.
Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason
Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.
The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.
"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."
The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.
However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith
The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.
ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.
The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...
Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.
Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.
And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.
Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List
Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.
"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."
Todd Archer - ESPN.com
This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.
It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.
While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.
With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.
With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.
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