Biggest long shot rookie draft pick on the Dallas Cowboys

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

What if I told you the Dallas Cowboys made excellent use of their Day 3 draft picks? What if I also told you they added enough good undrafted free agents that one or two are probably going to make the roster?

The Cowboys have always been strong in their rookie selections. Year after year their draft picks exceed expectations and even an undrafted free agent (UDFA) breaks through and makes the team against all odds.

It’s an especially impressive feat given the Dallas Cowboys are coming off back-to-back 12-win seasons. It’s easy for a rookie to make the cut on a losing roster, but a winning roster? That’s a whole different animal.

There’s one rookie who’s facing steep odds at making the Dallas Cowboys final roster cut in 2023.

In 2022, the Dallas Cowboys drafted nine players and impressively all nine made the team. John Ridgeway would eventually be released to make room on the roster during the season, but Dallas hoped to temporarily stash him on the practice squad (he was scooped up by Washington and joined their rotation).

As things look today, all of the remaining eight are expected to make the cut again in 2023. That’s impressive, to say the least.

In 2023, the Dallas Cowboys added eight rookie draft picks to the equation. Early returns look good and while all look like they have NFL futures, not all are expected to make the cut. Even before the first practice of training camp (Oxnard date, times, and preseason schedule here), it’s clear one of the draft picks faces extremely long odds to make the final 53-man roster cut.

Seventh round pick, Jalen Brooks, will be hard-pressed to make the Dallas Cowboys in 2023. It’s not that he isn’t worthy of a roster spot, it’s that he’s in the middle of a crowded and talented field of players.

The Dallas Cowboys WR corps is a deep one this season. For as bad as they were last season, they’re loaded this coming season. Headlined by CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup, the Cowboys top-3 spots are as secure as they’ve ever been.

How many total spots the Cowboys keep after that is the question (as it is every season) but most agree the final number will fall between five and six. That leaves just two (or three) roster spots up for grabs and a deep field of competitors vying for spots.

Simi Fehoko and Jalen Tolbert have the inside track since Simi is the best blocker of the bunch and he plays with size and speed that can’t be matched. Tolbert is a former third round pick who seems to be figuring things out in Year 2 and will be given every chance to carve out a role.

If the Cowboys decide to keep five – that’s it.

If Dallas opts to keep six (which I think is a safe bet), then KaVontae Turpin is the favorite. He’s their Pro Bowl return man and is signed to a manageable sum. It’s possible the rookie Deuce Vaughn could take on return duties but he’s inexperienced and that may be a gamble ST coach John “Bones” Fassel doesn’t want to take.

Outside of injury, it’s hard to envision a place for Jalen Brooks. He enters the NFL as a fairly raw prospect with a limited route tree. He doesn’t have great speed or explosive cuts so his impact in Year 1 is limited.

Brooks is still a good prospect to groom on the practice squad because can play the X (which is great) and he’s a physical player who thrives on shallow crosses (which is great for a West Coast WR). He can play special teams too so even if injury does force him on the roster in 2023, he has a few traits which could be useful.

But he’s not the automatic WR7 either. He’ll have to fight off David Durden, Dennis Houston, and Jalen Moreno Cropper, who are also solid competition in their own right.

Next. Cowboys 53-man roster prediction. dark

If there’s one rookie draft pick who’s a long shot to make the final cut for the Dallas Cowboys, it’s likely WR Jalen Brooks.

  • Published on 07/04/2023 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 07/04/2023 at 11:01 AM