The Dallas Cowboys may not need to keep a TE4 on their final roster because they have a guy named Noah Brown and he’s more than enough
Roster building can be a tricky process. With only 53 roster spots available, it’s not always possible for a team like the Dallas Cowboys to just keep the 53-best players. Positions, depth, and rotations must be accounted for. Otherwise a team could find themselves 4-deep at QB and only 2-deep at CB if that’s the way the talent fell.
So teams must get creative when building a roster. Position flex and versatility can be huge for a player teetering on the fringe. One player that describes is third-year receiver, Noah Brown.
Brown, 23, isn’t a multi-position player…yet. But some savvy moves from the Dallas Cowboys this summer could change that. But we’ll get to Brown. Let’s first start with the tight end position:
The Dallas Cowboys typically roll with four tight ends on their final roster. Not only do they regularly employ 12 personnel (2 tight end sets), but they carve out specific roles and plays for their different tight end weapons. That’s why naming a true TE2 will be close to impossible. We’re probably going to see Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz log equal snaps regardless of what the depth chart looks like.
This also explains the Dallas Cowboys’ willingness to play their players according to the specific expertise. Last season we saw Cameron Fleming technically play a TE3 role from time to time. Because if it’s an obvious running down, why line Rico Gathers up to run-block when you could have Cam Fleming in there instead?
What does this have to do with Noah Brown – a receiver?
Looking at the roster, Noah Brown is going to have a tough time making the team. The Dallas Cowboys are pretty loaded at receiver and Brown doesn’t have the downfield ceiling many of his WR peers boast. He may be best used as a TE-WR combo.
The reality is we’ve already seen him play this role the past two seasons already. Rarely targeted and often lined up or motioning in, tight, Brown has been a great run-blocking weapon for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s basically a blocking TE, with major mismatch ability as a pass-catcher.
So why don’t we just call him our fourth tight end?
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Kellen Moore has stated he plans to use more motion on offense this season. This will help Dak Prescott diagnose defenses and potentially exploit mismatches. Brown is an asset in motion. He moves better than any of the tight ends, he has the functional strength to get it done as a blocker, and he has playmaking ability standing by in case a mismatch situation arises.
It really doesn’t matter what position you call anyone, as long as the best possible players stay on the team and fill roles that need to be filled. Noah Brown is one of the 53-best players AND he fills multiple roles. It’s just up to the Dallas Cowboys to make this work.
Even if you prefer a run-heavy offense, moving away from traditional tight ends seems to be the smart way to go. In goalline you can use a tackle as the TE3, and in most other situations you’re better served in the running game if you spread ‘em out rather than pack ‘em in.
Noah Brown allows the offense the chance to spread ‘em out and reduce the traffic in the box. And if the traffic doesn’t follow outside, then it’s time to play by the numbers and pass the ball. And I don’t know about you but I like my odds with Noah Brown matched-up with a linebacker or safety more than I do about some random TE4 in the same matchup.
Just because Noah Brown isn’t a feared downfield weapon doesn’t mean he shouldn’t make the final roster. If the Dallas Cowboys go shallow at TE, Brown could be a mismatch weapon to watch serving as a WR-TE hybrid.
- Published on 06/02/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 06/01/2019 at 12:26 PM