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Jalen Tolbert 'building' on strong Cowboys camp vs. Jaguars


ARLINGTON, Texas — Things are truly starting to come together for Jalen Tolbert. The former third-round pick didn't have the best outing as a rookie, stemming largely from confidence issues as he transitioned from South Alabama to the Dallas Cowboys, but he's once again playing with the swagger that made him a household name in Mobile as recently as two seasons ago.

His OTAs were solid. His minicamp was even better. And his training camp in Oxnard has been an eye-opening experience, when comparing how he's performing on the field now to the unsettled version of himself that was still trying to figure things out in 2022.

His preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars simply provides more evidence.

"It was fun to get back out there and compete with my brothers, make plays when my number was called and continue to build on how [well] camp is going," he said. 

Tolbert finished the contest with just two targets on the afternoon, but he caught both of them and one was a 17-yard touchdown that put the Cowboys on the board just before halftime.

"I didn't really think about it, but I should've kept the ball," Tolbert said with a smile. "I just knew that I made a play for the team and, after that, I was just looking forward to celebrating with my teammates and moving forward from that point on. I just try to stay neutral and not get too high, or get too low. 

"I just move on to the next play. … It's day-and-night, my confidence level."

His next play will arrive in a week from now when he takes the field against the Seattle Seahawks, but he feels that while he still has some improvements to make, that it's also true he can look back at the film in the Jaguars matchup and see the progress he's made after putting in a ton of work this offseason to become what the Cowboys believe he can be.

"Definitely," he said. "I feel like I went out there and played fast, confident, and physical. I like what I did out there. Now, I'm just trying to build on it. It started this offseason. Just, every day, building on it and trying to get one percent better with life in general — whether it's on or off of the field. 

"Just continuing to grow from last season to now. … We have practice coming up, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there and competing."

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