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What's Up at WR? Lamb determines success


FRISCO, Texas — While the agreed upon deal for CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys awaits an agreement, the receiver room in Dallas is set to head into 2024 with a healthy combination of youth and experience up top with unproven but talented depth at the lower portions of the depth chart.

Lamb is coming off arguably the best season for a wide receiver in franchise history after setting team records in receptions (135) and receiving yards (1,749) in a season, while Brandin Cooks enters his second season in Dallas fresh off a hot finish to 2023 that saw him perfectly complement Lamb.

With Michael Gallup now out of the picture, an opportunity is present for Jalen Tolbert, Jalen Brooks and KaVontae Turpin to take on the extra responsibility and production in the receiving game in 2024, as the team's time in Oxnard, Calif. at training camp will be big in determining who takes on those roles – especially if additional reps are available with a potential Lamb holdout.

Further down, even talents like Jalen Cropper, Ryan Flournoy and Tyron Billy-Johnson all bring dynamic playmaking that could be worthy of a roster spot going into the season.

With so much left to be determined this offseason at the position, it's time to take a look at "What's Up" at wide receiver.

What We Know: After the season CeeDee Lamb had in 2023, there is little question about his importance in the offense. Just two years ago, some questioned if he would be ready to take on a WR1 role, and now he enters 2024 with his name sitting among the upper echelon of receiving talents in the NFL. Brandin Cooks' veteran presence also brings a comfortable presence behind Lamb at WR2, especially after the finish he had last season where he emerged as a safety net for Dak Prescott on sideline throws.

What We Don't: The picture after Lamb and Cooks is relatively undetermined. While the WR3 job is Jalen Tolbert's to lose, the offseason improvements of Jalen Brooks and the entrance of Ryan Flournoy into the picture as a rookie talent cannot be ignored in the equation. KaVontae Turpin also looms as a talent that saw his role increase in 2023 with those opportunities proving to be fruitful on occasion. Additionally, if Lamb's holdout extends deep into training camp, who takes the reins opposite of Cooks as the leader in the position room? That answer may lead to discovering the future WR3.

What to Watch For: Keep an eye on the Jalens, all of them. Jalen Tolbert has a fresh sense of confidence after a huge leap he made in year two, and all indications show that his stellar play will continue going into year three. Jalen Brooks surprised many by cracking the roster as a rookie and was reliable when called upon. Jalen Cropper, the lesser known of the trio, has real return ability and has improved offensively since being bound to the practice squad as a rookie.

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