Finally, we have the receiving corps. This group is already on a lot of people’s radar thanks to a mega-deal for Amari Cooper, a breakout 2019 season from Michael Gallup, and the drafting of CeeDee Lamb with the seventeenth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
In fact, Pro Football Focus believes that Dallas Cowboys have the best receiving corps in the league.
So how will 2020 look statistically for this group? First, we must figure out who will be catching balls for this team this season. The three amigos mentioned above are a lock. With rosters expanding to 55 in 2020, I believe that Dallas will keep six receivers on the squad. My picks for those three spots are Cedrick Wilson, Devin Smith, and Jon’Vea Johnson.
Wilson has not been able to produce much so far in his short career in the league, mostly as he has found it difficult to stay healthy. When he has been available, the majority of his time on the field has been dedicated to the slot position.
Smith and Johnson are more of your typical speed demons, existing to take the top off of opposing defenses. Both, however, have a nice skill-set as route runners. This was a little-used tactic under the old regime, but those days are no longer.
Still do not expect any huge breakouts from these three as there is a clear pecking order at this position. I have the three combining for 27 receptions, 294 yards, and two touchdowns with the majority of that coming from Smith.
That leaves our headliners. Aside from one down year in Oakland, Cooper has never had less than 1,000 yards in any given season. Expect 2020 to be another season of him eclipsing that mark as the main man in Big D. I have Cooper showing out with his best season yet as a pro, posting 91 receptions for 1,218 yards and nine touchdowns.
Gallup, meanwhile, blew up in 2019, doubling his receptions from the previous year while more than doubling his receiving yards and quadrupling his touchdown numbers. Obviously, that will not happen again in 2020, but I would not expect much of a drop off either. I have Gallup with 62 receptions for 1,164 yards and eight touchdowns.
Lastly, I wrote about the expectations of Lamb as a rookie shortly after he was drafted. I think there will be a time in his career, very near in fact, when he posts gaudy numbers like the ones I’m projecting for Cooper and Gallup. In his first year, however, I have him at 46 receptions for 630 yards and seven touchdowns. Still, quite impressive for a rookie and playing WR3 for one of the most talented groups in the NFL.
The guidance of head coach Mike McCarthy, along with the maturation of Kellen Moore as an offensive coordinator and the continual upswing in Dak Prescott’s talents all make for some big numbers in Big D for the 2020 season. Getcha popcorn ready!