The Cowboys are preparing for a battle at the WR3 position

With the departure of WR Michael Gallup who recently left for the bright lights of Las Vegas, the WR3 position back in Dallas is up for grabs. The Cowboys are setting the stage for an epic battle for the WR3 position to take place this preseason. Mike McCarthy and the rest of the staff are looking towards younger players stepping up this season. While it may seem as though Jalen Tolbert is the rightful heir to the WR3 throne, there are a few players that might be able to come in and put up a real fight to take it from him.

A lot of fans were calling for Tolbert to see more targets to take over the WR3 spot from Gallup last season, and he made the most of his opportunities with 22 catches, averaging 12.2 yards per catch, and two touchdowns. One would assume that this year he would naturally step into that role, but there are two other players that were on this team in 2023 that are looking to take that leap as well: KaVontae Turpin and Jalen Brooks.

Since Mike McCarthy took over calling the plays on offense, Turpin has been utilized more as a weapon on offense. And while his role on special teams will be amplified this year after the new kickoff rule changes, McCarthy should not lose sight of his play-making ability as a pass catcher.

Brooks is entering his second season, and while his role in 2023 was very limited, he played it perfectly – literally. When called upon, he didn’t miss a single catch going six for six with an average of 10.7 yards per catch. Look for these two to up the competition and battle for reps come training camp.

The Cowboys also brought in a brand new challenger to step into the arena this year, WR Ryan Flournoy, the sixth-round pick from SE Missouri State. Flournoy is a big-bodied, athletic player who has been compared to Dez Bryant. As some considered Michael Gallup to be the replacement for Bryant as the “contested catch WR”, it only seems fitting that Flournoy would try to fight to be next in line for that title. His preparation for battle began this weekend at the team’s rookie minicamp.

All of the contenders that will participate in the battle for the WR3 spot are not yet solidified. Although the Cowboys released one contender in WR Martavis Bryant from the practice squad, this front office has shown that they are open to bringing in even more challengers. They opened their doors to visit with WR free agent Zay Jones on Wednesday. Even though he will not be joining in on this battle as he just signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, it is very possible that the Cowboys continue to search through the remaining WR free agent options to add to the competition. Some names that are still available include Michael Thomas, Hunter Renfrow, Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Corey Davis.

There are also a lot of names that are currently on the roster that could be a sleeper poised to break out in training camp. Players like Tyron Billy-Johnson, Jalen Cropper, David Durden and Racey McMath are joined by UDFA’s Cam Johnson and Corey Crooms all battling for a spot on the roster. Could any of them become contenders for the WR3 position?

While it appears that the title of WR3 belongs to Tolbert, a lot can change before the first kickoff of the regular season, and the Cowboys intend to make it a fierce competition. Training camp and preseason will act as the backdrop for the battle for the WR3 crown. Who will come out on top?


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