The Dallas Cowboy surprised everyone when they hosted Martavis Bryant for a workout a couple weeks ago. After being impressed by Bryant's workout, the Cowboys didn't let the free agent wideout leave the building and signed him to the practice squad.
Bryant has yet to be active and it's unclear when that might change.
CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert and Jalen Brooks are the five receivers on the Cowboys' 53-man roster. While Lamb and Cooks are clear atop the depth chart, Tolbert has quietly played more snaps than Gallup in each of the last three games.
Unfortunately, Tolbert hasn't made the most of those opportunities. Though Tolbert has flashed in limited playing time this season, he's coming off arguably the worst game of his young career in Sunday's win against the Panthers.
Tolbert caught two of five targets for 12 yards and dropped two passes. Could this performance set the stage for Bryant's Cowboys debut?
Is Martavis Bryant inching closer to Cowboys debut after Jalen Tolbert's lousy Week 11?
The Cowboys' passing game has been humming of late thanks to incredible play from quarterback Dak Prescott. Brandin Cooks is finally getting involved, but Dallas still lacks a reliable third and fourth option behind Lamb and Cooks.
That isn't to say Bryant will become that guy, but what's the harm in giving him some run against the crumbling Commanders on Thanksgiving?
That begs the question of who should be made inactive at Bryant's expense? Rookie seventh-round pick Jalen Brooks, while impressive against the Giants in Week 10, is the obvious pick. He only played 16 snaps in Week 11, which was the fewest of the Cowboys' five active WRs.
Gallup has been better since his playing time was slashed after Week 9, but he still has seven games with 30 or fewer receiving yards. Tolbert, meanwhile, has just four catches for 14 yards in two games since he posted a 3-49-1 line against the Eagles.
There's a lot of moving parts here, though it feels like Brooks will get the proverbial axe if Bryant is active on Thanksgiving. Who's inactive ultimately doesn't matter, however. What does matter is Dallas seeing what they have in Bryant.
At 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds with game-breaking speed, Bryant brings a unique physical profile to the Cowboys' WR room. Granted, he hasn't played in five years, but Washington's Swiss-cheese defense could be the perfect runway for Bryant to shake off the cobwebs.
It's not like Gallup and Tolbert have done anything to keep Bryant stashed on the practice squad. What's the worse that could happen?