Promising receiver among the Cowboys signings ahead of Showdown vs. Giants

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Jerry Jones, owner of the Getty Dallas Cowboys, addresses the media at a news conference.

The Dallas Cowboys made two signings ahead of the team’s Week 3 rivalry matchup against the New York Giants. The Cowboys are bringing back wide receiver Dennis Houston, who the team fired earlier this week while Dallas did a little squad gym.

Dallas was able to re-sign the rookie wideout to the team’s practice squad after the former Northern Illinois playmaker failed to claim the waivers. Houston had two receptions for 16 yards on five goals in the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers.

The Cowboys also re-signed linebacker Mike Tafua, who the team fired before finalizing its 53-man Week 1 roster. The former Utah standout defenseman has signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent and has spent both the offseason and training camp with the team.

What does the move mean for Tolbert?

When the Cowboys released Houston, there was some speculation that rookie Jalen Tolbert could get his first action opportunity in Week 3 against the Giants in the NFL. Dallas had Houston two weeks of the season in the first week ahead of Tolbert on the receiver depth chart.

Houston’s signing coupled with Michael Gallup’s likely return complicates Tolbert’s game-time path. During the offseason, Tolbert was supposed to be one of the Cowboys to start wide receivers, but the former South Alabama playmaker struggled in the preseason. Earlier in the season, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones admitted the team probably burdened the rookie too much during training camp.

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“I think he’s fine,” Jones said during a Sept. 9 interview on San Antonio Sports Star’s “The Blitz.” “I think it’s one of those things, we probably asked a lot of him early on to play all the spots, both outside and inside, and probably gave him a bigger challenge than we probably needed. But he will be fine.

“Obviously we have with him [Tolbert] and Houston and Simi [Fehoko], some youngsters, all of which are situational depending on which team we’re playing against. And I think they can all step in and do a really good job.”

The Cowboys invited quarterbacks and receivers to a Week 3 tryout

Dak Prescott’s thumb injury played a role in the Cowboys’ release of Houston, as Dallas had to move Will Grier to the active roster now that he’s serving as a backup quarterback. The Cowboys are probably not thrilled with their current depth at wide receiver.

Dallas hosted three free-agent quarterbacks along with three wide receivers for a tryout in preparation for Week 3. Former Eagles playmaker John Hightower led the wideouts, which the Cowboys teamed with former SMU star Reggie Roberson and ex -Virginia receiver Ra’Shaun Henry rated. Hightower played two seasons for Philadelphia before the Eagles released the receiver prior to Week 1. The former Philly wideout had 10 receptions for 167 yards during his 13 appearances in 2020.

Dallas welcomed former Eagles quarterback Reid Sinnett to a tryout as the team looks to potentially add a signal caller to the practice team as Prescott is sidelined. The Cowboys also saw some standout USFL quarterbacks in J’Mar Smith and Case Cookus.

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