Cowboys WR Named Cut Candidate After Early NFL Struggles

Dallas Cowboys WR Jalen Tolbert

Getty Dallas Cowboys WR Jalen Tolbert

The Dallas Cowboys have a crowded WR room right now, which means that even talented players face the possibility of being released. After two years of lackluster production and slow development, Jalen Tolbert‘s name stands out as a potential cut candidate.

Tolbert was a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft after an impressive career at South Alabama. But he has yet to make an impact with the Cowboys, and time is running out. Inside the Star writer Mark Heaney made a case for Tolbert being released on June 9.

“Tolbert has had opportunities over his first two seasons, he just hasn’t capitalized on them to this point. If that trend stays throughout the preseason process, why shouldn’t he be on the chopping block? It would allow Dallas to give more snaps to young receivers like Jalen Brooks and Ryan Flournoy,” Heaney wrote.

Brooks didn’t have many opportunities in 2023, but the Cowboys kept him on the roster after taking him in the seventh round of last year’s draft. Flourney is one of the most prominent UDFA signings of this year, so both are trending upwards.

While Tolbert got on the field last fall, he did not nail down a consistent role. The door is open for the Cowboys WR group in 2024.

Tolbert Handed First Starts in 2023

The Cowboys tried a variety of ideas and player combinations last season, which included Tolbert. The 25-year-old started 6 times and played in all 17 games, but did not make much noise.

According to Pro Football Reference, Tolbert caught 22 passes on 36 targets for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He only had one drop and posted a catch rate of 61.1%.

With CeeDee Lamb leading the Cowboys’ offense, it’s understandable that the team’s other receivers don’t boast similar numbers. However, Tolbert was given a chance to usurp Michael Gallup and potentially work into a No. 2 role over Brandin Cooks.

Instead, Tolbert never had more than two consecutive starts. His best performance came in his third start as he caught three passes for 49 yards and 1 touchdown in a 28-23 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cowboys Linked to Trade for Former WR

Things aren’t certain for Tolbert already, but a trade for Cedrick Wilson Jr. would only make the situation less stable. However, Bleacher Report writer Kristopher Knox recently considered the situation a legitimate possibility.

Wilson is with the New Orleans Saints, but could face an uphill battle for a roster spot. Knox thinks Dallas should look alive for a potential trade if he can’t make the Saints’ 53-man roster.

“If the Saints deem Wilson expendable by the end of camp, they could look to acquire some draft capital and $1.4 million in 2024 cap space by trading him,” Knox wrote on June 17. “If that happens, Dallas should be very interested.”

Besides Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed starring for New Orleans, they also have Equamineous St. Brown and young prospects A.T. Perry and Bub Means. Wilson brings experience and assuredness, but New Orleans has found a steady rhythm with young WRs coming in and making plays.

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