We are in the midst of the NFL offseason and training camp is a couple of months away from starting. This is the part of the season where NFL fans, analysts, and writers are talking about what potential training camp battles will take place at certain positions. Or, which rookie on our favorite team will make the most impact.
Nevertheless, I will be breaking down what rookie I believe will make the most impact for the Dallas Cowboys and why. The player I believe is going to make the most impact is former South Alabama wide receiver, Jalen Tolbert.
Who Is Jalen Tolbert?
Tolbert was a three-sport athlete at McGill-Toolen Catholic School in Mobile, Alabama where he participated in baseball, basketball, and football. But he did not become a starter in football until his senior year when he recorded 37 receptions for 696 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior season. Tolbert was a two-star recruit and was initially committed to Jacksonville State but decommitted. He then chose to stay home and attend the University of South Alabama.
College- South Alabama
Stats(2021)- 82 catches, 1474 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns
NFL Combine Stats – 4.49 40-yd dash, 4.24 20-yard shuttle, 36.0 inch vertical, and 10 ft/ 3 inch Broad Jump
Tolbert’s College Stats Show His Growth
During his first year there he was redshirted due to a knee injury in training camp. The next year he only played five games and racked up five catches for 60 yards. It wasn’t until Tolberts redshirt junior season that he became the big man on campus with 64 catches, 1,085 yards, and eight touchdowns.
This season he really showed out and had one of his best games against the Tennessee Volunteers. Racking up seven catches for 143 yards, and a touchdown, and also had his longest catch for 68 yards. His best game was against Sun Belt rival Coastal Carolina where he had ten catches for 191 yards and a touchdown.
In 2021, he had 82 catches for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns earning first-team All-Sun Belt and the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He also broke his own South Alabama record with 82 receptions for 1,474 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He went from a two-star wide recruit to a star at South Alabama in five years.
Where/Why Tolbert Fits Into The Offense
This offseason, the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper for a fifth-round pick and swapped sixth-round picks with the Cleveland Browns. Let’s just say Cowboys fans weren’t pleased with the trade due to the fact of how dominant of a receiver Cooper can be when he’s on the field. I digress but the Cowboys did sign former Steeler receiver James Washington who needed a change of scenery and Dallas is basically home for him.
Washington is a good outside receiver but not your number one receiver. His best play is as the Z receiver that can be a yards after the catch guy. Washington is a good signing overall with the Cowboys still needing another receiver due to Gallup recovering from an ACL injury.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys drafted Jalen Tolbert in the third round which was a steal in my honest opinion. Tolbert brings similar traits that Gallup brings which is the ability to track, jump in traffic, and reel in the ball. He is also a smooth, shifty route runner who can break out of tight coverages. In all honesty, I see him playing a lot of slot this year due to those traits. If you know Dak Prescott, he loves to get the ball to his slot receiver as much as he can.
Here are the stats to prove it from 2016 to 2021
2016: Cole Beasley – 833 yards & five touchdowns
2019: Randall Cobb- 828 yards & three touchdowns
2020 Rookie Cee Dee Lamb – 828 yards & five touchdowns
2021 Cedrick Wilson – 606 yards & six touchdowns
Not saying that Tolbert is automatically gonna get similar productions as these individuals but maybe he can develop trust with Dak to be that guy. The possibilities are endless for Tolbert this year but first, he has to earn that roster spot. If he can prove that he fits in well as a slot receiver, then Tolbert could very well be making big bucks in Dallas for years to come.
Will Jalen Tolbert earn a starting spot this year? Comment below and join the discussion!
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