The Dallas Cowboys will trim down the roster to 53 players on August 29, and one name that could be out is a receiver Dallas has invested in significantly. Simi Fehoko has been with the team for over two years, but the Cowboys are being predicted to move on from the former Stanford Cardinal wide receiver.
The addition of Brandin Cooks to the WR group has elevated it significantly, but that means less room for projects at the bottom. With that in mind, Pro Football Network’s latest 53-man roster projections expect Dallas to cut Fehoko next week in favor of a group of six WRs:
- CeeDee Lamb
- Brandin Cooks
- Michael Gallup
- Jalen Tolbert
- KaVontae Turpin
- Jalen Brooks
The first 3-4 names in the group are no surprise: Lamb and Cooks are the expected starters, the Cowboys’ committed spending to Gallup means he’s getting another chance, and Tolbert is just a year removed from being a third-round pick.
Turpin and Brooks are the only ones where it could be uncertain, but both offer extra skills (returning kicks and punts in Turpin’s case) that make them valuable players to keep around.
Jalen Brooks Impresses in Dallas
In terms of surprising names that may be forcing out Fehoko, Jalen Brooks has to be at the top of the list. PFN explains how Brooks has been a strong performer in camp, showing that he is willing to do the “dirty work” of being a receiver as well as making eye-catching plays.
“Jalen Brooks still has a fair shot at making the roster, and if he keeps playing like he has been, he could make it,” PFN’s projection explains. “Brooks has not only been impressive with his ability to run routes well and create separation, but his run blocking has been noted as well.”
One moment that stands out from the Cowboys’ latest preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks is a 4th-and-4 Dallas faced. The Cowboys went for it, drawing up a play that needed Brooks to get separation and make a catch. Brooks answered the call.
It’s not a guarantee that Brooks will get on the 53-man squad over Fehoko or any other WR, but he is impressing. The seventh-round pick didn’t enter training camp with very much hype, but he’s exiting the other side with a lot more respect.
Cowboys Have ‘Elevated’ Group with Brandin Cooks
There was no question that the Cowboys needed to add another top-end receiver, but Cooks may end up being even better than they hoped. With his kind of experience, Cooks can help win games on the field and improve his teammates off of it.
Yahoo Sports‘ Charles Robinson toured training camps across the NFL the past few weeks, and his key takeaway from watching Dallas was Cooks’ impact.
“Brandin Cooks is still fast as hell and immediately looked like an upgraded dimension in the offense. But one of the interesting things that a Cowboys source mentioned was that Cooks was so overwhelmingly professional from the second he walked through the door,” Robinson wrote. “The source said Cooks had been great at engaging with younger players on both sides of the ball and that he’s the kind of veteran you hope to have in a wide receivers room but don’t always get.”
Cooks’ ability to assist younger players may be part of the reason why guys like Brooks are performing above expectations. Dallas needs him to produce on the field, but having a veteran leader in the group is something the Cowboys have been lacking since the departure of Amari Cooper.