Mailbag: Noah Brown’s role, Kellen Moore’s roster security, and a dark horse receiver

With the draft now complete and the Hall of Fame game less than three months away, Cowboys fans have many questions that need answers!

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Now would be a great time to sort through some Twitter questions that may be pressing on the hearts of Cowboys fans.

It’s early in the process of course, but I don’t envision Noah Brown making the 53-man roster this year. At the same time, I think he’s more than a throwaway pick and the Cowboys have plans for him moving forward.

It surprised some when Brice Butler re-signed with Dallas, but I think that was something both parties viewed as insurance. Butler didn’t have the season he or the Cowboys wanted, so he was always going to sign a one-year contract somewhere. Dallas made the most sense for a “prove it” deal because there is so much riding on performance; you don’t want to add a new scheme and environment into the equation when you’re simply trying to focus on performance.

For Dallas, it wasn’t clear at the time Butler re-signed that Terrance Williams would be returning. I think they initially expected drafting a new No. 2 wide receiver and letting Butler hold down the gig for a year while he tried to earn his 2018 money. I also believe there was an understanding from both sides when Butler re-signed that they would amicably split at the end of 2017. I don’t see the selection of Brown voiding that for 2017, but I definitely think the Cowboys view Brown as Butler’s replacement in 2018, serving as the backup X receiver for Dez Bryant.

Could Brown make the active roster this year? It’s possible, but unlikely. Outside of what I’ve detailed regarding Butler, we know Bryant, Williams, and Cole Beasley are locked in for 2017. Ryan Switzer was drafted to push Lucky Whitehead right away, and was likely a two-year advance on Cole Beasley’s departure. That’s five receivers right there.

The Cowboys could potentially carry six receivers this year, especially with Brown’s ability to clear space in the run game. That would all be dependent on larger questions about how many players they carry at the other offensive positions.

Highly doubtful.

As I just touched on above, the receivers group is very, very crowded. While the Cowboys have shown a fondness for Jones, I don’t think they like him more than Noah Brown, and Brown himself is likely looking at the practice squad in 2017.

Jones should honestly be rooting for Brown to arrive at camp looking very raw. If the Cowboys decided they’d like to hold onto six receivers, but Brown looks as if he needs a year on the scout team, then that scenario would present Jones as the leader in the clubhouse for the sixth receiver.

But again, the Cowboys typically carry five receivers, and there are seven others along with Jones that currently wear a star: Brown, Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Brice Butler, Ryan Switzer, and Lucky Whitehead.

Those are not favorable odds for Andy Jones.

I don’t think they are as in as much need of three quarterbacks this year as they have been in years past, just because the questions about Romo’s health have disappeared. That said, I think they’ll probably still carry three quarterbacks.

Now who is that third guy? That’s hard to say right now. And without knowing, it’s tough to gauge what spot on the depth chart Kellen Moore will occupy.

If the Cowboys opt for one of their undrafted free agent signings, like Florida’s Austin Appleby or Central Michigan’s Cooper Rush, then you can definitively say that Kellen Moore is your backup quarterback. That’s actually the job the Cowboys had intended for Moore behind Romo before he suffered a season-ending injury.

If the Cowboys enter camp and feel the need to get a more game-experience quarterback, like a Scott Linehan favorite Shaun Hill, then I think that quarterback would settle into the second spot, relegating Moore to track pants and a clipboard.

Right now, I think the odds favor Moore being the backup quarterback with Appleby or Rush occupying a weekly inactive spot as the third string quarterback. Linehan believes in Moore, so I don’t believe he’ll be itching to bring in someone to leapfrog him on the depth chart.

One thought on “Mailbag: Noah Brown’s role, Kellen Moore’s roster security, and a dark horse receiver

  1. can’t wait to see switz send lucky packing, we finally will have a true punt returner and the thought of cole and switz on third down packages will have dez druling over single man coverages!!


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