Sidelines with John Clay

Randall Cobb earning rave reviews in his new NFL home

When the Green Bay Packers opted to let Randall Cobb go in free agency, word was the former Kentucky receiver’s NFL career might be finished. And at the tender age of 28. Not so fast.

Signed by the Dallas Cowboys to a meager one-year, $5 million contract, Cobb reportedly turned more than a few heads during the team’s recent minicamp leading up to the 2019 season.

On the Around The NFL podcast last week, the NFL Network’s Jane Slater listed the Cobb signing as an indication that the Cowboys might actually be a functional franchise this season.

“I think they’ve loaded up quietly with some talent in free agency,” Slater said. “Randall Cobb, I don’t talk enough about what we’ve seen from him.”

Slater was asked what she had seen from Cobb?

“The way that he has so easily acclimated to that locker room. You feel like he wanted to be in Dallas. He told us a story that he went up to Dak Prescott at NFL Honors and said come and get me if you get the chance. It was a sense that he wants to be here.

“And he played quarterback, too, at Kentucky. Dak was telling us that he speaks Dak’s language and they are communicating the way Amari Cooper does. Those are the signs that tell me they are actually functional finally.”

Hamstring and ankle injuries limited Cobb to just nine games last season with the Packers. He caught 38 balls for 383 yards and two touchdowns. That was his fewest receptions in a season since he played in just six games in 2013, catching 31 passes for 433 yards and four scores. The next year, 2014, Cobb caught 91 balls and made the Pro Bowl.

After Green Bay declined to re-sign the receiver, Cobb went with Dallas, who was looking to replace Cole Beasley. The slot receiver caught 65 passes for 672 yards and three touchdowns last season before singing a four-year, $29 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. There was talk of Cobb being a stop-gap measure until Dallas could find a better replacement for Beasley.

Cobb performed so well in minicamp, however, ESPN’s Todd Archer named him the surprise of the camp.

“Normally a player with Cobb’s résumé — 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career — would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver. If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb’s versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.”

Interestingly enough, Beasley was 29 years old last season, the age at which Cobb will play this year. He turns 29 on August 22. Here are the stats for three top receivers who played last year at age 29:

  • Julio Jones caught 113 passes for 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns for the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Antonio Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • T.Y. Hilton caught 76 passes for 1,270 yards and six touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts.

Another interesting note: New Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore turns 30 on July 12. Moore is former Boise State quarterback who was a backup with the Cowboys before getting into coaching.

Selected in the second round as the No. 64 overall pick by Green Bay in 2011, here are Cobb’s season-by-season stats with the Packers:


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