A longtime Dallas Cowboys wide receiver could be on the way out.
As the Cowboys prepare to make cuts to trim their roster down to 53 players by August 30, there will undoubtedly be some surprising cuts. According to K.D. Drummond of Cowboys Wire, one of Dallas’ “shocking” cuts could be wide receiver Noah Brown.
The 26-year-old veteran is the longest-tenured receiver on the roster, having been selected by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft. Drummond argues that the Cowboys could release Brown and bring him back. As a fully vested veteran, Brown wouldn’t go through the waiver process and would instead be outright released.
“After playing in 13 games in 2020, Brown is now a vested veteran, meaning that he would not have to endure the waiver process if released off the offseason roster,” said Drummond. “Waivers would mean any team could put a claim in on his contract and he’d be awarded to whichever club had the worst 2020 record. Vested veterans aren’t waived, they’re outright released.
Dallas has employed this tactic in the past, and Brown could be right back with the organization as soon as a player is moved to returnable-IR.”
Cowboys Could Release Brown, Then Re-Sign Him
Drummond brings this up as a potential tactic for the Cowboys due to the fact that they intend to enter the season with the injured James Washington on the 53-man roster. In order for Washington to avoid missing the entire season, the Cowboys can’t place him on injured reserve until he makes the 53-man roster. Once he’s placed on injured reserve, the Cowboys could then re-sign Brown.
While that is certainly a reasonable scenario, there is also the possibility the Cowboys could simply release Brown and not bring him back after Washington is placed on injured reserve. With Washington out until potentially October due to a Jones fracture, the Cowboys desperately need receivers who can contribute in the passing game.
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Why the Cowboys Could Release Brown and Not Re-Sign Him
Although Brown is one of just two healthy receivers on the roster to have caught a regular season pass from Dak Prescott, he’s never been a formidable part of the receiving game. The veteran receiver posted a career high of 16 receptions for 184 receiving yards last season and has never caught a single touchdown pass during his five seasons in the league.
CeeDee Lamb is entrenched as the No. 1 receiver while 2022 rookie Jalen Tolbert is guaranteed a spot on the roster. Furthermore, Michael Gallup could return as soon as Week 2 following his recovery from ACL surgery. That leaves two or three spots open at receiver. Based upon training camp observations and the team’s first preseason game versus the Denver Broncos, there appears to be receivers with more potential than Brown.
Dennis Houston is considered a sleeper as an undrafted free agent due to his ideal size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and speed (4.49 40-yard-dash time). Meanwhile, T.J. Vasher has drawn rave reviews since minicamp and Simi Fehoko caught a touchdown pass in the preseason opener. It’s worth noting that Brown was inactive for the preseason opener.
It’ll be interesting to see who the Cowboys cut in order to place Washington on the 53-man roster. But it’s reasonable to believe Brown could be that player.