Is the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver battle down to just two players?

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson
BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson /

The battle to make the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster at wide receiver is dwindling down. It now appears to be a two-horse race.

The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver depth chart was a major storyline to watch as the team entered into training camp last month. The offseason introduced many to the dazzling trio of Reggie Davis, Jon’Vea Johnson, and Jalen Guyton. There was hope that at least one of these lightning-quick youngsters would challenge for a spot on the Cowboys’ final-53 man roster.

Fast forward midway through the preseason and this trio has failed to impress. Against the Los Angeles Rams over the weekend, Johnson continued to be plagued by drops; now upwards of six total if the Blue and White Scrimmage is counted. Davis muffed a punt, resulting in a turnover. And Guyton has been all but invisible.

All three now appear to be viewed as practice squad candidates rather than possible final roster material. Fortunately for the Cowboys, their depth chart appears to be set for the most part. At the top are clearly three names. Those being Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and the newly-signed Randall Cobb. It’s likely safe to place Tavon Austin‘s name on that final list as well, and that’s mainly due to his value as a special teams returner.

The continued intrigue at the wide receiver position revolves around three names: Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson, and Devin Smith.

Only 23-years old and already entering his third season with the Cowboys, Brown started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) due to a knee injury. Despite that fact, he is still considered a strong candidate to make the active roster in Dallas due to his abilities as a run blocker and his special teams contributions. Yet, there seems to be a legitimate chance he could start the regular season on the PUP list.

This could potentially leave two spots open on the depth chart at wide receiver. But if the Cowboys decide to go light at the position carrying just five wideouts into the regular season, that potentially leaves just one open spot and two possible candidates to fill it, Wilson and Smith.

Wilson was a sixth-round selection out of Boise State last year that the Cowboys seemed unusually excited about. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury ended his rookie season in August. And he’s been working towards making this year’s team ever since.

During the Cowboys preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Wilson looked poised to earn himself a role on the final-53 as the team’s most consistent receiver, catching three passes for 36 yards. But he also suffered a concussion during the contest that forced him to miss Dallas’ second preseason game against the Rams. Apparently now out of concussion protocol, Wilson was at practice on Tuesday and should seal his fate in the Cowboys’ final two preseason games.

Smith is a former 2015 second-round selection by the New York Jets who suffered two major ACL injuries. The Cowboys took a flier on him earlier this year signing him to a reserve/futures contract in January after the Jets waived him last July.

After a quiet offseason, the 27-year old Smith has been impressive in the preseason racking up a total of six receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown in the team’s first two games. Combined with some stellar practices at training camp, Smith has separated himself from the pack and now appears to be a legitimate candidate to make the Cowboys’ final roster.

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With two more preseason matchups to go, there is still time for someone else to emerge as a candidate to make the Dallas Cowboys’ final 53-man roster at wide receiver. But based on the previous two games, it appears to be a two-horse race between Cedrick Wilson and Devin Smith. But by the end of August, the Cowboys may simply opt to keep them both.