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Mailbag: WR Optimism? Evaluating Tyler Smith?


Why so much talk about wide receiver depth? Granted, a couple of injuries to major players in the receiver room, but lots of young talent that needs the chance to shine. I would not add another WR until after a couple of preseason games and then maybe not. You have to give a chance to the youngsters. I see a lot of potential there. What do you guys think? – JEFFREY WILLIAMS / ABILENE, TX

Rob: It's more of a talking point this offseason because it's not just the Amari Cooper trade. Michael Gallup's return date from knee surgery isn't fully clear yet, though the team seems optimistic it'll be sometime in September. That's a ton of production to replace, at least in the early going. And I think there's some general apprehension among fans in part because replacing Dez Bryant in 2018 didn't go so well until they traded for Cooper that season. The difference here is they didn't have a Pro Bowl caliber receiver to step in then. CeeDee Lamb is on that level now. And I think Jalen Tolbert really does have starter potential. But I get why there's some uncertainty about receiver from the outside.

David: I think the front office agrees with your assessment, and that's what ultimately matters. But it's hard to shake my memories of what this receiver corps looked like when Amari Cooper contracted COVID and CeeDee Lamb missed time with a concussion. Not pretty. That said, I don't think they need to add a guy right now. Just something to keep an eye on.

Honest impression of Tyler Smith during OTA's so far? His feet, strength, speed, etc. Does he look the part? – RON ALTON/ CINNAMINSON, NJ

Rob: Honest impression after two practices with no pads: Yes, Smith has been impressive. All the talk about his strength is real. It's been noticeable at tackle and guard. Tyron Smith, an LA native, got the nickname "Hotel California" for his heavy hands, basically meaning the defender is powerless once he engages with you. (Like the song says, "You can check out anytime but you can never leave.") Tyler Smith seems to have that advantage to his game, too. Micah Parsons made note of his strength after Thursday's practice.

David: I agree with everything Rob said. He looks like he belongs, there's no doubt. But as Rob also mentioned, let's not lose our minds about two OTAs. Things are going to change severely when the pads go on — and then again when he starts going against guys like Vita Vea, Javon Hargrave and Aaron Donald. But yes, so far, I'm very impressed with Tyler Smith.

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