Depleted Dallas Will Give Young WRs ‘Opportunity’

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OXNARD, Calif. — In the wake of losing James Washington to a broken right foot, the Dallas Cowboys will not pursue any veteran wide receivers available in free agency, such as Odell Beckham Jr. or Emmanuel Sanders, or look to add one through a potential trade.

At least for the moment.

“Let’s give these young guys the incentive, our young receivers,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “We thought a lot about them when we came out. We’ll get that [Washington] restored … But there is no rush for us to add a veteran receiver. We like these young guys.”

Washington, who had surgery Tuesday, is slated to miss six to 10 weeks, according to multiple sources. Michael Gallup continues to rehab from a torn left ACL suffered last January and is set to miss at least the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown are the only wide receivers to catch a pass from Dak Prescott in a regular season game. While Lamb had a 1,000-yard season and was named to the Pro Bowl last season, Brown has 39 catches in four seasons. Lam is the only receiver with a touchdown catch.

“We talk about growth, we talk about drafting and development, here it is,” coach Mike McCarthy said. projection and growth that needs to happen, so the only way to get there is through these training camp robberies. So don’t wait until the preseason games to start that process. You don’t wait to give them opportunities right in the season So that’s what it looks like. It’s a shame James got injured, but it’s really an opportunity for these young players to step up.”

In addition to Lamb and Brown, the Cowboys have 2022 third-rounder Jalen Tolbert, 2021 fifth-rounder Simi Fehoko and undrafted free agents from the last two years: Dennis Houston, Jaquarii Roberson, Ty Fryfogle, TJ Vasher, Dontario Drummond and Brandon Smith. Last week, the Cowboys signed KaVontae Turpin, who led the USFL in receiving yards this spring.

“I mean, I’m not against having another vet in here,” Lamb said. “I’m never against having help, but I like my young guys here now. I want to see what they can do in the heat of the game, and then we got Tampa in September. There’s only one way to find out .”

Lamb said he’s already told the younger receivers that chances like the one presented to them now don’t happen often.

“The door is open to possibilities,” Lamb said. “I feel like the younger guys are taking that opportunity and trying to do something.”

The lack of urgency to add a more proven receiver than those already in camp is somewhat reminiscent of 2016, when the Cowboys lost then-backup quarterback Kellen Moore to a broken ankle a week into camp. Instead of adding a veteran, the Cowboys went with Prescott and Jameill Showers in the fourth round behind Tony Romo. After Romo suffered a back injury in a preseason game, Prescott became the starter and has held the job ever since.

“We like these young guys,” Jones said. “We had already looked ahead and we were going to have some trouble cutting our numbers at receiver because we’ve liked the way some of these guys are starting to show. But we still have a lot of work to do. .”

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