FRISCO - In an ideal world, the Dallas Cowboys' wideout nucleus of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb is supplemented by one more guy, younger and cheaper, certainly a future helper at wide receiver but maybe, now a helper on special-teams.
Ideal world, say "hello'' to Simi Fehoko.
Ideal world, say "goodbye'' to Noah Brown?
At the top of the Dak Prescott-receiving totem pole exist Cooper (working through his ankle rehab), Gallup (in the final year of his contract) and Lamb (prepping for what Dak predicts is a "breakout year.'') There are a lot of moving parts there going forward, and there is also Cedrick Wilson, who has been etched in pencil as the No. 4 guy. (Oh, and he's in his final contractual year, too.)
What if Cooper can't stay healthy? What if Gallup isn't here long-term?
What if ... Simi Fehoko is what he proclaims himself to be: Maybe the best receiver in this draft class?
"With my God-given abilities and skills, there's no reason I can't be the best receiver in this draft class, if not the league," Fehoko recently said.
Tap the brakes. Playing behind a trio of guys who can each top 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, and playing behind a guy in Wilson who is considered reliable on offense and key on special teams, fifth-round rookie draft pick Fehoko is really faced with an initial challenge before he is ever allowed to catch a real NFL pass:
Get to training camp in Oxnard and out-play veteran Noah Brown for the team’s fifth wide receiver spot.
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Figure, for the sake of this exercise, that Dallas keeps five receivers. Is is no knock on the 6-2, 215-pound Brown - who like Fehoko has a big body (but lacks the speed Fehoko demonstrated at Stanford) - to point out that he is 25, that he has been here since 2017 (!), and has just 23 NFL receptions over the four seasons.
Fehoko is 6-4 and 227 pounds and he is 21 years old.
Brown has dealt with injuries, of course; he was therefore tucked away and largely off the official roster in 2018 and 2019. He's also bulked up to help as a blocker (remember him playing a little tight end?) and slimmed back down. Whatever the Cowboys want!, and all of that.
But now? As relatively affordable as he is, at $1.27 million, along comes Fehoko with a rookie contract making about half that - $720,000, to be precise.
Does Brown still have "sponsors'' in the building? Not likely ones on Mike McCarthy's coaching staff. Does the scouting department still believe in him? Maybe, but they drove the selection of Fehoko, so their belief in him is "fresh.''
Interestingly, the Cowboys on offense do not go to camp with a high volume of job battles. And this one will be a battle for the bottom of the totem pole. But given the futures of Cooper, Gallup, Wilson and more, the winner will end up mattering.
And given the way the NFL works? The Cowboys will want the new kid to win.