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Jalen Tolbert Injury Update: Rookie Makes Move in Dallas Cowboys OTAs

“He’s a smart guy,'' says quarterback Dak Prescott of Jalen Tolbert. "He wants to grow. He’s always talking to me about film and what I saw.''
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FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys vets have said all the right things about rookie wide receiver Jalen Tolbert.

But this week, finally, they get to see some of those right things.

“He’s a smart guy,'' said quarterback Dak Prescott, visiting with the media on Tuesday during the charity Home Run Derby, revealing that Tolbert is this week joining the vets at OTAs for the first time after dealing with a hamstring issue. "He wants to grow. He’s always talking to me about film and what I saw.''

What the Cowboys had seen through the first two OTA sessions was Tolbert, the third-round pick out of South Alabama, staying on the sideline while working with trainers. A bit of progress was made a week ago when he fielded a handful of punts.

But otherwise? This week marks real progress in his availability - the first step to helping Prescott and a receivers room led by CeeDee Lamb but short on healthy and experienced talent otherwise.

"He's awesome," said Kellen Moore, the Cowboys offensive coordinator, when asked to provide a scouting report on Tolbert. "I think he works his tail off. I think you can tell how prepared he is and how detailed he wants to be.

"I think he's going to be a really good addition for us."

Tolbert, who only really picked up football during high school, was so highly thought of by Moore and the Cowboys that they nearly made him their second-round pick. So the team believes it got great value with its selection, which allowed the defense to get a boost with the second-round selection of Ole Miss defensive end Sam Williams.

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And just as, in a perfect world, Williams would replace the departed Randy Gregory, Tolbert - with Amari Cooper gone and with Michael Gallup still rehabbing a torn ACL injury that we believe will cause him to come up short when it comes to playing Week 1 - would become the sidekick to Lamb.

Tolbert got a leg up on the race for snaps when he got a phone call before the draft from Dallas QB Dak Prescott. The two of them "vibed,'' as Tolbert put it, and once he was selected by the Cowboys, Dak reached out again.

“Dak sent me the playbook early,'' said Tolbert, "so I could get a head start on the plays.”

The playbook study was helpful. Actually being on the field helps even more.

"He’s an exciting guy,'' Prescott said, "that has a bright future.”

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