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Mailbag: Realistic Expectations For T.Y. Hilton? 


I've always thought T.Y. Hilton was one of the more underrated players in the NFL when he was in his prime. So I'm excited about the move but should I temper my expectations? What can he provide at this point in his career and at this point in the season? —Trent Parrish / Madison, WI

Patrik: I think tempering expectations is a wise move, but that isn't to say you shouldn't have some excitement about what Hilton might provide this offense. Keep in mind, though he's on the back end of his career, he's only two seasons removed from grabbing nearly 800 yards and five touchdowns for the Colts, and he's not tasked with being the primary or even the secondary receiving threat — which is key because it aids in his durability. Be it as a decoy who's approaching the 10,000-yard receiving mark or the guy who's getting the ball on any given play, it makes things that much more difficult for an opposing defense to key in on where Dak Prescott is looking to throw the ball; seeing as he can basically throw it anywhere now for a big play. As for as being underrated goes, well, he'll get all the ratings he can handle and more as a member of the Cowboys.

Nick: I can't say that I've watched him play a ton of games in my life, so that probably means you're right about him being underrated. His numbers are great but he never got a ton of attention. But what matters now is what he can do for this team and it'll come down to how quickly he picks up the offense. How I think he can help is his ability to work the middle of the field from the slot. If he can provide a Randall-Cobb-like role from a couple of years ago, that could be beneficial to this team. If Hilton still has some speed to his game, which I'm assuming he does, then that's another element the Cowboys could lean on. My guess is that he'll be more of a chains-mover at this point.

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