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Mailbag: Keep Things Simple For Rookies?


Were the Cowboys wrong in trying to have Jalen Tolbert learn all three wide receiver positions right away last year instead of concentrating on just one? Did this affect him learning and contributing? Is it better to simply things for these incoming rookies? – John Flory/Harrisburg, PA

Nick Harris: A lot of factors played into Jalen Tolbert not having a strong rookie campaign, and while being overloaded early on with offensive concepts and how he would be used in Kellen Moore's offense played a role, not having a ton of chemistry with Dak Prescott was probably the biggest factor. Now that Tolbert has gotten comfortable and now that he's grown closer with QB1 both on and off the field, year two should see a huge improvement. With the rookies coming in, simplifying things will be important, especially for the ones that didn't come from complex systems in college, but creating the early chemistry with fellow playmakers will probably be more important.

Mickey: Really don't think the Cowboys were putting too much on Jalen Tolbert's plate as a rookie since he seemed to be handling whatever very well in training camp and preseason. They were more searching for which wide receiver spot he fit in best, and certainly while having high expectations weren't spreading him too thin early in the season. He just didn't respond well when the big lights came on. Like remember on that key play he was called for lining up in the neutral zone? That had nothing to do with being overburdened with assignments. I also think the versatility depends on the rookie, like this year undrafted rookie Isaiah Land, a defensive end at FAMU, has been working at linebacker to see what he can handle. Or last year's first round pick working at guard in camp and moved back out to tackle when Tyron Smith was injured and played well at both spots.Remember, the old saying, the more you can do.

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