The Cowboys could have easily kept wide receiver, Amari Cooper. However, they chose to create a need in the NFL draft, and they picked Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama in the third round to help fill the void.

Tolbert has been one of the most talked-about draft picks for the Cowboys because of his versatile skill set and athleticism, something that can complement CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup very well. Pro Football Focus is high on Tolbert being a big contributor early, as a matter of fact, they have named him one of the NFC’s potential breakout candidates for 2022.

“CeeDee Lamb is expected to solidify his WR1 standing this year in spite of a few unknowns around him in the Cowboys’ receiving room. Michael Gallup may not be ready for Week 1 while still recovering from an ACL tear, leaving the position of Robin to Lamb’s Batman up for grabs.

“Dak Prescott’s deep connection with Gallup (95.5 grade on deep passes in 2021) could be taken over by the rookie Tolbert, at least early on, or semi-veteran James Washington. Tolbert had five receiving touchdowns on 20-plus yard passes en-route to his career-high 98.2 deep receiving grade at South Alabama last season. The third-rounder boasts the upside to come in and hold down the WR2 position while remaining a mainstay in the Dallas passing offense once Gallup returns.”

Tolbert gives the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore another chess piece. Having played every wide receiver spot in 2021, moving Tolbert around could create some matchup problems for the opposing team’s second and third cornerbacks with his size 6’1 frame, 4.49 speed, and ability to make contested catches.

“I was able to play the 3, 2, 1, single, wherever they put me at; I played multiple spots in the game,” Tolbert said. “I think that’s something Coach McCarthy loves about my game is that my versatility showed up on tape. When I talked with him, that’s one thing he emphasized, me learning all the spots. So if CeeDee Lamb or MG have got to go somewhere else, I can play all of the above. I think they’re excited about that, and I’m excited about being able to move around and get matchups with people that probably shouldn’t be guarding me.”

Tolbert will need to work on his drops. Also, although he has experience there, he played the least in the slot, so he’ll need to learn all the nuances of the position so that he can be productive for the Cowboys when he’s used there, especially when Gallup returns.

If the Cowboys can get Tolbert to develop quickly, and Gallup returns healthy, you’ll have a very capable receiving group when you add Lamb and Washington.

Feature image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports