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Mailbag: Helping The Passing Game From Within?


I totally agree with CeeDee Lamb that the offense needs another playmaker/weapon. But I'm hoping that it comes from within, that a current young player takes that next step. I've got three potentials: Jalen Tolbert, Jake Ferguson or Simi Fehoko. Can you see one of these players becoming that second big weapon behind CeeDee in the passing game? If not them, who? – David Nystrom/Loudon, TN

Nick: Never too early to ask the question. Could be too early to give you the best answer. Could those three guys eventually help from the inside? Sure they can. But I seriously doubt the Cowboys will head into free agency and the draft counting on either of those guys to take over if nothing is addressed. That's not a knock on them but at this point, they haven't proven enough for you to rely on them. The one caveat here is Ferguson. Because he has shown some skill in one season and if they don't bring back Schultz, then yes, he's going to have to be the guy to step up at tight end. I do like Jalen Tolbert's chances of turning the corner. Had we judged Miles Austin after his first three seasons, he never would've been the player he turned into. My guess is the Cowboys take a receiver in the first three rounds and they sign a veteran in the second week of free agency.

Patrik: I believe you'll see some improvement in Tolbert in Year 2 but, for me, it was Fehoko who stole the show in training camp last summer before seeing his season derailed prematurely by injury. Fehoko has been in the system for two full seasons now and has taken strides every year toward being an impact player, whereas Tolbert has a higher number of rough edges that still need polishing. As for Ferguson, I'm looking at he and Peyton Hendershot to really push the tight end position forward in 2023 and beyond, contingent upon what does or does not happen in contract negotiations with Dalton Schultz. Both Ferguson and Hendershot have shown they can change the outcome of games, and there's no reason that fact or their opportunities to shine should change going forward. The team will likely still need a free agency grab at WR though, as insurance (if nothing else), and I'm all for bringing back T.Y. Hilton and/or finally tying the knot with Odell Beckham, Jr. after a very public courtship in December.

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