Dallas Cowboys WR transgressions coming back to haunt them

[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Bs Jaguars Vs C 17
[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Bs Jaguars Vs C 17 /

This past offseason, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t exactly attack their roster with urgency. After waving goodbye to players like Amari Cooper, La’el Collins, Cedrick Wilson, and Connor McGovern, the front office seemed more focused on cutting costs than upgrading the team. Their lack of activity in free agency only reaffirmed such thoughts.

Borrowing a page from Mark Cuban, the Cowboys made moves to “keep their powder dry” for 2023. It seemed those tough times in 2022 would offer more money and flexibility in 2023 when a real push to improve would happen.

One of the positions the Dallas Cowboys willfully neglected was receiver. As previously stated, Cooper and Wilson left, and since Michael Gallup was coming off a late-season ACL injury, the Cowboys would begin the 2022 season without three of their top-four WRs.

The Dallas Cowboys failed to properly address the WR position in free agency or the draft this offseason and are now dealing with the consequences.

Instead of investing real resources in the WR position, the Dallas Cowboys added an extremely affordable James Washington (teams weren’t exactly lining up for him) and South Alabama project player, Jalen Tolbert.

This season, the two additions have combined for two receptions for 12 yards. Not exactly the seamless replacements you were hoping to replace Wilson and Cooper for who put up 1467 yards on 113 receptions in Dallas a season prior.

While the front office and their oddly loyal apologists defended the neglect early in the season, the front office is now scrambling to bandage their self-inflicted wound. They aggressively courted Odell Beckham Jr and just recently signed T.Y. Hilton.

when you ask a player to exceed expectations over and over again, you’re not allowed to act shocked when said player eventually regresses the mean.

The hope is that one of them could somehow alleviate fill the hole and cover Dallas down the stretch. But the repercussions from the neglect have already been felt. Devastatingly thin at WR, the Dallas Cowboys have been forced to lean on role players, demanding they fight above their weight class.

For the most part that strategy worked on Sunday in Jacksonville when Noah Brown logged a career high in targets, receptions, and touchdowns. But when you ask a player to exceed expectations over and over again, you’re not allowed to act shocked when said player eventually regresses the mean.

In overtime, Brown did just that. The WR that had never had more than six receptions in a game could exceed expectations no longer. He bobbled up a perfectly delivered ball into the loving arms of a defender. That defender took it to the house, abruptly ending the game and sending the Cowboys home in shock.

Was it Noah Brown’s fault?

Of course it was, but it was also this front office’s fault for depending on him to play a role he’s never played before. A role they could have addressed but didn’t. All because they were pinching pennies and looking ahead to 2023.

Hopefully T.Y. Hilton fixes things. He doesn’t have to carry the full load at WR3 because Noah Brown proved he’s more than capable of playing a role in a WR3 platoon. But the Dallas Cowboys need someone trustworthy to step into a role at WR, because right now, things are scary.

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The Dallas Cowboys front office brought this on themselves. None of this should be surprising given the attention they paid to the WR position this offseason.