Battle Lines: After Top 3 WRs, Who is Next Up?
FRISCO, Texas – With the offseason practices – both OTAs and minicamps – all done for the Cowboys this offseason, there is a lengthy break between now and the start of training camp, which begins July 24 in Oxnard.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions on the table at each position. Each day, we will take a deep dive into each spot on the field, analyzing the top battles, the key players and some bold predictions. Today, we continue with the wide receiver position.
*What needs to go right: *There were times in the 2022 season where the passing game was ineffective beneath the success of CeeDee Lamb on the depth chart. Dak Prescott struggled to find a second target with an ailing Michael Gallup, a disappointing season from Jalen Tolbert, and minimal contribution from the rest of the roster. For Dallas to find more success in 2023, there needs to be multiple receivers stepping up to create depth.
*Biggest Question: *What will Michael Gallup bring after a healthy offseason? The Cowboys passing attack just hasn’t been the same without a healthy Gallup in the fold. His deep-threat ability before fighting through multiple injuries and an ACL rehab was crucial to the success of the offense. Now, after his first fully healthy offseason since 2021, can Gallup return to his prior form?
*Battle to Watch: *Simi Fehoko vs. Jalen Tolbert: Both players were active for only five games in 2022, yet still enter the season with expectations for improvement. Tolbert has the heavy weight of being a top-100 pick to overcome. While Fehoko enters year three with little production to tout after sitting out most of last season due to a shoulder injury.
*Bold Prediction: *CeeDee Lamb will lead the NFL in receiving yards. This would mark the Cowboys first receiving title since Michael Irvin led the league with 1,523 yards in 1991 and only the third time in franchise history, joining Drew Pearson (870) in 1977.
*Biggest Challenge: *The receiving corps will arguably face the top five secondaries in football this season. With teams on the schedule like the Dolphins, Chargers, Jets, Patriots and especially Eagles, each week will be a tough task for receivers to get open. There’s never an easy week in the NFL but the 2023 slate would be tough against anyone trying to throw the ball consistently.
*Key Stat: *20 – It has been 20 games since a Cowboys receiver other than CeeDee Lamb has tallied 100 yards receiving. Cedrick Wilson was the most recent contributor to the list during the final game of the 2021 season. Lamb finished with five 100-yard games in 2022.
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