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Cowboys Offseason 'Surprise' Standout? This Young WR

Can this Texas native play his way onto the Cowboys roster?

The Dallas Cowboys can be described in many ways but a team lacking offensive weapons for its quarterback isn't one of them.

There are 1,000-yard receivers CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, skilled pass catchers out of the backfield in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, and star tight end Dalton Schultz, among others.

With that much talent, it can be difficult to stand out. However, that hasn't been an issue for T.J. Vasher, a 6-6 Texas Tech graduate who the Cowboys signed as an undrafted free agent in 2021.

According to ESPN, Vasher has been the Cowboys' surprise offseason standout.

Signed as an undrafted free agent last year, Vasher did not practice because of a knee injury, but he has used this offseason to get himself into the receiver conversation. With Michael Gallup working through knee rehab and CeeDee Lamb, James Washington and Noah Brown missing time with minor injuries, Vasher got a lot of work in the OTAs and minicamp. "He's made some really big-time flash plays, splash plays," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's had some really, particularly in the red zone, which you can see his ability down there. Big plays in scramble drills and things like that. I just think like any young player, particularly in his development, it's getting the details of the everyday situations." - ESPN's Todd Archer.

Let's make sure we understand the terminology here: ESPN's writers were assigned to write about the "surprise standout.'' So it's about an "under-the-radar'' guy who popped up.

And in that context, we agree with the evaluation.

Vasher's spot in the Cowboys' receiver room is entirely up for grabs, as he faces competition from 2021 fifth-rounder Simi Fehoko and undrafted rookie Dennis Houston. (See "Vasher vs. Simi'' here.)

But he has drawn positive reviews from the coaches.

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“He’s done good things,” head coach Mike McCarthy said recently. “I think he’s made some really big time flash plays, splash plays. He’s had some, really, particularly, in the red zone, which you can see his ability down there.''

The 23-year-old Vasher is a native of Wichita Falls, just two hours Northwest of Dallas. He stayed local, choosing Texas Tech over Ohio State and several others, posting nearly 150 receptions and 2,000 yards across five seasons in Lubbock.

Vasher brings NFL bloodlines, as his uncle, Nathan, was a Pro Bowl corner for the Chicago Bears and played seven professional seasons. 

His uncle's best campaign was his second, the year Vasher is entering. While he surely won't collect the same accolades, Vasher has a chance to claim a roster spot and contribute for his local team.

Though the Cowboys just completed OTAs and Vasher has yet to put on pads, he's off to an impressive start. Now, it's up to him to keep the positive momentum rolling into training camp, no longer under the radar.

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