The Rise of Jalen Tolbert: Cowboys Banking on Youth in the Wide Receiver Position

Like many teams around the league, the Cowboys sent a strong message in free agency. However, it wasn’t about adding a lot of players or keeping most of theirs. What seems clear for the Cowboys is their willingness to give opportunities to the team’s youngest players.

This roster is loaded with players who are still on rookie contracts and haven’t had that big season yet. Could it be this year? The Cowboys can only hope, especially considering they signed only one outside player (Eric Kendricks) in free agency and currently have just six picks in the NFL Draft later this month.

So the Cowboys have to lean on some of their previous drafts and free agent signings to help fill out this roster.

Today we will begin the series with wide receiver Jalen Tolbert.

  • Name: Jalen Tolbert
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Experience: 3rd year
  • Games played/Starts: 7/25
  • Remaining years of contract: 2
  • Key Stat: Tolbert’s two touchdowns in 2023 came on the road against divisional teams: Philadelphia and Washington.

Last: Tolbert, a 2022 third-round pick, made little impact on the team during his rookie season. He was inactive for more than half of the regular season games and had just two receptions for 12 yards. Tolbert took a bigger leap last season, not only playing in all 17 games but also making seven starts as the team moved to a three-catcher spread. He began cutting off Michael Gallup’s reps and was used as a key player in the offense. Tolbert caught 22 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns and definitely had the trust of Dak Prescott, who threw in his direction several times in key moments.

The present: The opportunity now goes to Tolbert, who should be the third receiver on this team behind CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. The Cowboys cut Gallup in March, paving the way for Tolbert to have a larger role in the offense. Even if the Cowboys add a receiver in the draft, it’s unlikely they can unseat Tolbert’s role right away. He will have a chance to get plenty of reps in training camp and will likely get some in the preseason, giving him more opportunities to shine.

The future: The wide receiver position is not easy to evaluate. There are question marks with each of the first three. CeeDee still needs a new contract and Cooks is in the final year of his contract and Tolbert has yet to show the consistency for the Cowboys to count as a regular contributor. And that’s where Tolbert has the opportunity to change the narrative. If he can improve his game this year, he can help the Cowboys in their decisions in the future, especially with Cooks likely to be a free agent next March.

2024-04-04 21:24:50
#Jalen #Tolbert #greater #role #offense

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