Cowboys Predicted to Land New Star Playmaker

Mike McCarthy

Getty The pressure is on the Dallas Cowboys to add playmakers this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys are in the market for an upgrade at wide receiver and could look to address the position in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft with the No. 26 pick. One potential name to watch for Dallas is Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba who’s Eric Edholm has Dallas selecting in his latest mock draft.

“It will be fascinating to see where JSN lands after injuries derailed his 2022 campaign,” Edholm wrote on February 3. “The Cowboys badly need receiver help, though, and could consider ending his slide here.”

Heading into the college football season, Smith-Njigba was widely viewed as the top wideout prospect and a potential top-10 pick. The Buckeyes receiver battled a hamstring injury that sidelined him for much of 2022. Smith-Njigba only played in three games notching five receptions for 43 yards. The playmaker is just one season removed from posting 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Is Drawing Comparisons to CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys will need to address the position in a major way this offseason, likely double dipping in both the draft and free agency. Noah Brown and T.Y. Hilton are both free agents, and it will be interesting to see if Dallas looks to bring back either player.

Dallas is also hoping Jalen Tolbert can bounce back from an underwhelming rookie campaign. ESPN’s Matt Miller sees a lot of similarities between Smith-Njigba and Cowboys star CeeDee Lamb.

“Smith-Njigba finished the 2021 season with a record-setting Rose Bowl appearance (347 receiving yards, three TDs) but was hampered by a hamstring injury in 2022, limiting him to just five catches and 43 yards,” Miller wrote on January 21. “It makes for a fascinating evaluation, but the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Smith-Njigba can still find himself in the top 15 picks. He shows excellent concentration and body control, and he can still get open even when the defense is keyed to stop him.”

The Cowboys Remain Interested in Odell Beckham Jr.

One name who continues to be linked to the Cowboys is Odell Beckham Jr., and the team’s public interest in the wideout during the season shows how much Dallas wants to improve the position. Ultimately, Beckham’s return timeline did not coincide with what the Cowboys were hoping for this past season. Beckham remains unsigned and owner Jerry Jones admitted the team plans to connect with the playmaker again in free agency.

“I’ve gotten to know him well, and we’ll be talking,” Jones told reporters on February 1 at the Senior Bowl.

Ohio State Has Had a Streak of Successful NFL Receivers

Jaxon Smith-Njigba RECORD-BREAKING Highlights vs. Utah | 2021 NCAA Rose BowlJaxon Smith-Njigba RECORD-BREAKING Highlights vs. Utah | 2021 NCAA Rose Bowl Discord Server: Clip Channel: Gaming Channel: TikTok: Business Email: Twitter: Instagram: Twitch: Patreon: Merch: (All rights go to ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC, Universal Music Group, the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, NHL, XFL & its…2022-01-02T02:34:11Z

Smith-Njigba is the latest in a string of highly touted Ohio State receivers with the most recent standouts being Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has Smith-Njigba as his No. 31 ranked prospect and compares the wideout to Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

“He is very polished as a route runner, leaning on defenders and quickly getting in and out of breaks,” Jeremiah wrote on January 31. “He has strong hands and thrives in the middle of the field, as he can pluck the ball while absorbing contact. He has some power and wiggle after the catch, but lacks a second gear. Overall, Smith-Njigba reminds me of Amon-Ra St. Brown, and I believe he’ll make a similar impact in the NFL.”

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