The Dallas Cowboys hope to bounce back strong on offense this year after struggling to be efficient in the second half of the 2021 season. In order to succeed, they’ll have to overcome taking a step back on the roster and surmount some significant risks they’ve taken.
Losing La’el Collins, Amari Cooper, and even Connor Williams (to a much lesser extent) will provide a significant challenge in Dallas.
But the most considerable risk the Cowboys seem to be taking on offense lies at wide receiver. Since they drafted CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, letting Amari Cooper go seemed like a down-the-road possibility.
Lamb has the tools and skillset to grow into a WR1 and as a cheaper option, it always felt like a natural progression for the Cowboys.
Yet, their preparation beyond WR1 is questionable. Dallas might’ve been too complacent in building the rest of the wide receiving corps.
With Michael Gallup expected to miss multiple weeks of the regular season, the Cowboys are asking Jalen Tolbert to step up early as a third-round rookie.
Jalen Tolbert taking more time to adapt than we expect has got to be up there. Cowboys seem too reliant on him producing right away right now. https://t.co/5BFVhe1ntX— Mauricio Rodríguez (@MauNFL) June 14, 2022
Now granted, Jalen Tolbert is considered by many the best draft pick by the Cowboys in terms of value. Many saw the South Alabama receiver as a Top 50 prospect in the class. He’s proven he can win vertically and there are apparent ways he can be ideally deployed right away.
Not to mention, Tolbert has impressed early in the mandatory minicamp.
Yet, every rookie regardless of post-Draft expectations represents a big risk in the NFL. Especially if you’re asking him to be the #2 wide receiver on the team.
The Cowboys signed James Washington on a cheap one-year deal and have other young prospects on the team but the depth is questionable at the position.
In the best-case scenario, Tolbert produces right away and is elevated by the play of Dak Prescott, a Top 10 quarterback in the league. But the risk is big enough for the Cowboys to be in serious trouble if the rookie doesn’t produce early in the season before Gallup’s return.
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