Comment: this article was written Before the news of James Washington’s injury.
Just making an NFL roster is a huge achievement that most people will never achieve. This requires two or three standard deviations from the physical average, but mental dedication and sustained work can be even bigger obstacles. When a player manages to hang onto one of the precious jobs on the 53-man NFL roster, they are rewarded for their hard work and effort. And on rare occasions, one of the many Travellers players who populate the bottom half of the depth chart gets a chance to shine. This Year, That’s Exactly What’s Happening to Noah Brown Dallas Cowboys,
While other wide receivers such as CD Lamb, TJ Washer and even James Washington (out with an injury) has appeared in the Daily Highlights video from the first four days of camp, with Brown doing some real work as well. Kyle Youmens dallascowboys.com keep this like this earlier this week,
In three days, and without pads, it’s hard to tell exactly who might have an early advantage in some battles. However, the wide receiver position is one that seems fairly obvious even without pads in the equation. That being said, the first few practices have seen Noah Brown shine in a contest for the second wide receiver spot against names like Jalen Tolbert and James Washington.
Brown made several grabs during the team period which raised some eyebrows. His most notable one was at Flutter Pass, which was tipped over the line of scuffle, facing Trayvon Diggs in human-to-man coverage. Not only did he track the ball accurately despite the change in pace, but he swung it down the first time, keeping Diggs out of position.
He had made another grab on the out route earlier in the day for a lead of about 20 yards. After a few plays he found some separation in the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown reception. He had just three instances of a bundle of catches on Friday.
Brown has long been part of offensive and special team units, but in a room full of young receivers or freshmen, he has entered camp determined to provide some production.
Brown has been a footnote in his career with the Cowboys. He is entering his sixth year with the team, but has only 39 receptions for 425 yards in that time. Last season was his best, but he still only had 184 yards. He never had a touchdown catch. There are certainly people who question why he is on the team.
There are a few factors that contributed. He missed the 2019 season due to injury. For most of his career, he has also been buried by receivers who were ahead of him on the depth charts. As of now, he has been hanging on as a special team contributor and insurance policy. But as mentioned above, he has kept his job while many other players have come and gone. He is now on his second one-year contract after ending his rookie contract. The Cowboys don’t mind bringing players back when their deals expire. One thing in Brown’s favor, especially in the eyes of Stephen Jones, is that he spent only a minimal amount of money on his two re-signings. Since the coaching staff certainly has some input on decisions like these, they should look into that as well. And while his output hasn’t been impressive so far, he has shown an upward trend every season on the field.
Last year, he was apparently WR5 behind Amari Cooper, Lamb, Michael Gallup and Cedric Wilson. Now, Cooper and Wilson are gone, and Gallup is expected to miss the game at the start of the season. Suddenly Brown is in the mix for a starting job, and certainly has an excellent chance of being no worse than WR4 in a role like Wilson. Youmans have seen him in unpadded practices. So others have. Brown didn’t have as many “wow” moments. What he has done is showing a steady strong presence. It’s more important than shining big but not bringing consistency to the table.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Brown has worked with Dak Prescott throughout his career. Talent and skill are important, but the quarterback may have more trust and rapport with his receiver. There, the Browns should have an advantage over their competition.
He will probably be used rather widely in the slot, but it still gives him a valuable role. Lamb is expected to see a fair bit of slot work, and there are other good options. On almost every play, there must be at least one receiver who provides a deep threat when the team forces the defense to cover it. The brown is big and so strong that it is always a threat, including in the red zone.
Brown has already built a decent career in terms of longevity. Another way he might try to emulate Wilson this season is by putting together a resume that will eventually earn him a big payday. This will likely lead to the end of his days with Dallas because of the cap space, but it will be great for him.
His challenge is to maintain his performance through the camp and into the regular season. We haven’t seen the pads coming yet. Which is starting from Monday. This is a golden opportunity for Brown. It’s time for the Cowboys to see what Brown can do for them.