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WR Noah Brown’s Return to Cowboys Could Only be Temporary

Noah Brown is currently preparing for a sixth season with the , having recently re-signed with the team on a new one-year contract. But given the changed landscape of the WR position in Dallas in 2022, could Brown’s return wind up being short-lived?

A 7th-round pick in 2017, Noah keeps finding work with the Cowboys as a willing blocker and special teamer. He’s only had 66 targets on his entire career and has never scored a touchdown, but Brown’s provided enough value in other ways that Dallas has allowed him to play out his contract and given him two one-year deals to stick around.

Last season Noah returned as a core special teamer but only received a slight uptick in offensive usage. While Brown was only one spot below on Dallas’ WR , the divide between them was much bigger in how they were utilized and their fortunes.

While Cedrick got a multi-year deal to join the in March, Brown is back on just a $1.1 million contract with only $137k of guaranteed money. His 2022 spot is far from certain and there’s a conceivable scenario where he may not have one at all, or at least not for long.

Once again the Cowboys seem to have a fairly clear top four at receiver: , , , and . Though he’ll have a better chance at competing with Washington and Tolbert than he did with last year’s group, Brown will still be in an uphill battle for playing time.

Could Noah Brown be a Surprise Blake Jarwin Replacement?
Cowboys WR Noah Brown

The big issue facing Noah now is the potential second-year development of . A 5th-round pick in 2021, Fehoko was carried on last year’s roster and only dressed for five games. But if the young prospect is now ready to start contributing more, that could be real trouble for Brown.

While keeping six receivers on the official roster isn’t abnormal, having them all active for gamedays would be difficult given the 46-man limit. If Brown doesn’t push his way into the top four, and if Dallas is committed to giving Fehoko some playing time, he might not get to suit up at all.

At this point there’s not much developmental juice left to squeeze in Brown. He’s 26 and a finished product by general NFL standards. Noah has his ways to contribute and has earned new contracts based on that, but he’s probably not a guy who you’re going to protect on the if he’s not dressing for games.

One factor that could help Brown make the roster, at least temporarily, is the projected absence of Michael Gallup early in the season. If Gallup’s recovery from ACL does continue into September, Noah could hang onto his spot for a month or so until Michael’s ready to play.

Even then, though, the NFL’s new rules could work against Brown. Dallas could him at final cuts, avoiding his contract becoming fully guaranteed, and then try to sign him to the practice squad and call him up for a few games during Gallup’s absence.

Once again, is where Noah may have to make himself too valuable to lose. That’s often what decides those last spots on the roster and where Brown has survived the last five years. Making pound the table for him could be his clearest path.

The fact that Noah Brown is even still here fighting for a sixth season with the Cowboys is remarkable; a testament to his hard work and underrated value. But despite the departures of and Cedrick Wilson this offseason, Brown may have an even harder time making the team in 2022 than ever before.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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2 Comments

  1. Though I haven’t personally really seen the spark that causes this team (previous staff and this one) to be so endeared to him, Brown also hasn’t done any wrong in my book. He’s pretty much the perfect WR5. It appears that Semi needs to be head-and-shoulders better in each aspect: receiving, blocking, and specials.

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