FRISCO, Texas — What was once a heated battle going into training camp just a month ago for the fourth wide receiver spot on the depth chart now has its clear winner going into the final week of the preseason, and it's something that even Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged on Tuesday.
Second-year wide receiver Jalen Tolbert stacked solid performances in Oxnard, Calif. at the start of training camp while also tallying two strong outings in preseason games to jump way ahead in the race for the team's WR4 spot.
"Tolbert's locked down that four spot and certainly shown that he can be productive for us," Jones said on Tuesday. "Dak's very comfortable with him."
Jones was prompted to point out Tolbert's preseason accomplishment in the midst of addressing his jump from a disappointing rookie year to making a huge leap ahead of year two.
"You got a guy like Tolbert who ended up needing a little time, then you get a veteran in the room with him like a [Brandin] Cooks, and now we're seeing what we drafted," Jones said. "That third-round pick has turned into something that we're going to have."
The jump that has been made has wowed even his believers, as Tolbert can now enter the final week of the preseason knowing he can prepare to touch the field in the regular season in an impactful manner.
In comparison, while Jones says he's sure that there are others, he couldn't immediately recall any second-year players that have come through with a similar leap going into their sophomore campaign.
"Usually, it's an offensive lineman that can make a jump like that," Jones said. "Some guys just come in and they're going against full grown men in this league. A lot of guys are young. Thinking of one, it's usually an offensive lineman, but on my fingertips, I don't have someone that's made that big of a jump from year one to year two."