The Dallas Cowboys made headlines for all the wrong reasons yesterday. On the heels of letting Cowboys Nation know DeMarcus Lawrence’s and Amari Cooper’s days are numbered due to salary concerns, Dallas announced they would be retaining their solid, yet unspectacular, tight end Dalton Schultz and re-signing career WR4/WR5, Noah Brown, for the 2022 season.
It’s understandable Cowboys Nation lost their every-loving-minds over the roster decisions this franchise has, once again, foolishly chosen to make. The same team that’s proclaimed to be intolerant towards underachievers has been perfectly content handing money to replaceable players at replaceable positions.
But that’s all been discussed ad nauseum. Let’s focus on the players themselves because both players (Schultz and Brown) add value to the team and both fill important needs.
We discuss what Noah Brown brings to the Dallas Cowboys and why fans should be happy he’s coming back.
Given the news the Dallas Cowboys will probably lose Amari Cooper and maybe even Cedrick Wilson this month, it’s easy to compare the two outgoing WRs with the one returning WR. But that’s simply not fair.
Even if Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson are gone, Noah has his place and it’s not as a top-3 WR on this team.
As a run-blocking specialist, Noah Brown essentially plays a different position than the others and given his pay scale, the comparison between the three WRs is like comparing apples to orangutans.
Since he entered the NFL, the seventh round pick out of Ohio State has been one of the best run blockers in the NFL. From blocks at the point of attack, to sealing backside, to blocking downfield, Brown has been tremendously effective opening holes and lanes for playmakers.
A argument can be made he’s more of a TE2 than a WR given how Kellen Moore uses him. Noah Brown plays only roughly a quarter of the offense’s snaps, the majority of which are running plays – not passing plays.
In fact, of his 793 snaps on offense, he’s only been targeted downfield a total of 66 times, so it’s not even like he’s stealing opportunities from others when he’s on the field. Quite the contrary, he’s giving opportunities to others, and unlike most WRs, he has no qualms about not getting the ball. Noah Brown knows his role and he’s happy with it.
WRs who can block are seeing a resurgence this year in the NFL. Teams have taken notice that much of the 49ers, Rams, and Titans success on the ground is because their WRs are so willing and able to block. Rated by PFF as a top-10 run blocker, Noah Brown is in elite company.
But this isn’t like the whole, “Zeke is an elite pass protector argument” either. Unlike Zeke, Brown isn’t getting paid top-of-the-market prices for a secondary skillset. He’s getting paid fair market prices that fit his role.
In the clip below we see Brown isn’t just a good run blocker on the line, but he can also execute rub routes and screen off defenders better than anyone else on the Cowboys too. He’s the best blocker for TE and WR screens and he can pass protect/chip block as well.
For as uninspiring as his stat line is, that’s not what his role is so why are focused on it? It’s like saying Zack Martin stinks because he has no career touchdowns. Touchdowns aren’t Zack Martin’s job just like filling out the stat sheet isn’t Brown’s job.
It’s highly unlikely the Dallas Cowboys are re-signing Noah Brown to play anything more than WR4 in 2022. Even if Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson are gone, Noah has his place and it’s not as a top-3 WR on this team.
Free agency has dozens of viable WR3s hitting the market and the draft is littered with plug and play starters on Day 1 and Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft. For as delusional as the Dallas Cowboys front office can be, they don’t actually expect Noah Brown to step into the shoes of Cooper or Gallup.
Noah Brown is an elite blocking WR. He’s a better blocker than most TEs in the NFL these days. He doesn’t demand the ball and is happy in his role facilitating others. He helps in both phases of the game and is a core special teams player as well.
Noah Brown has nothing to do with Amari or DeMarcus. That’s a travesty on it’s own merit. Noah Brown is a good player to bring back on a one-year/low number deal because his presence makes the team better, plain and simple.
- Published on 03/09/2022 at 17:01 PM
- Last updated at 03/09/2022 at 15:40 PM