Cowboys Could Land Hometown Freak Athlete Receiver

Rashee Rice

Getty The Cowboys are projected to draft SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice.

The Dallas Cowboys could be looking at their next star receiver.

According to a 2023 NFL mock draft from Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings, the Cowboys are projected to select wide receiver Rashee Rice out of nearby SMU. Cummings argues that Rice’s “alpha” ability warrants him a selection from Dallas.

“At 6’2″, 203 pounds, with arms over 33″, Rice has great size,” says Cummings. “He’s also explosive, twitchy, and energetic as an athlete. His best trait, however, is his absolute alpha ability at the catch point. He’s one of the most instinctive playmakers in the 2023 NFL Draft.”

Cummings also notes that the lack of quality receivers projected to be drafted in the first round — he projects two receivers to be selected before Rice — could keep the Texas product home.

“It’s poetic — one of the biggest stars in Dallas joining the Dallas Cowboys,” says Cummings. “But we promise we’re not just doing this for the style points. Rashee Rice is the first-round candidate that few are talking about as such. He has the talent to earn a spot in that conversation, and it’s especially true with the lack of production at the top of the WR class.”

Why the Cowboys Could Draft Rice

The Cowboys are currently lacking that bonafide third option after CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. The Cowboys were hoping rookie third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert would emerge as that guy. However, he’s been a major disappointment through the first several games of the season, being declared inactive for three of the first four games of the year.

Meanwhile, James Washington — who served as a slot receiver during the first several years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers — remains sidelined due to a Jones fracture he suffered during the preseason.

Dallas has instead been forced to rely on a ragtag group of unproven young receivers, with Noah Brown proving to be the most consistent of the bunch. The 26-year-old veteran receiver served largely a special teams role for the first four seasons of his career. However, he’s been a bit of surprise this season, catching 18 balls for 274 yards and one touchdown, ranking second on the team in receptions and receiving yards.

However, it’s hard to envision Brown as a long-term option at receiver. While it’s very early in Tolbert’s career, Dallas could look towards the draft very early to find a long-term option alongside Lamb and Gallup.

Cummings: Rice is an ‘Explosive, Agile Athlete’

Cummings raves about Rice’s competitive traits along with his “elite catching instincts.”

“Rice is an explosive, agile athlete with elite catching instincts and playmaking reach, stifling hand strength, and high-level RAC ability with his frame density and hyperactive style,” says Cummings. “He brings good speed downfield as well, and he mends it all together with a cold competitive mentality.”

The Cowboys could also opt to go the tight end route with their first round pick — CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin projects Dallas to select Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer — but if Dallas does end up retaining Dalton Schultz, their next biggest position of need on offense is at receiver.


Read More