Life is all about taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. And this summer, former Texas Tech wider receiver T.J. Vasher could have a golden opportunity to earn a roster spot with the Dallas Cowboys.
Now in his second offseason with the Cowboys, the 6-foot-6 Wichita Falls native is in a position to make some noise this summer now that he’s fully recovered from a knee injury that caused him to miss 2021 training camp in Dallas and cost him any shot of making last season’s team.
Of course, earning a spot on the Cowboy’s 53-man roster last season would have been difficult for Vasher. Entering camp as an undrafted rookie free agent, he was going to be behind proven NFL wide receivers like Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Cedric Wilson.
However, things have changed quite drastically for the Cowboys over the course of the past 12 months. The departures of Cooper and Wilson have left Dallas looking for replacements on the outside. Plus a late 2021 knee injury sustained by Gallup has further thinned the receiving corps in “Big D” as the former Colorado State Ram might not be able to answer the bell for the season’s first handful of games. In fact, on Thursday, Gallup was added to the Cowboys’ injured list, making it almost certain that he will miss the team’s first game.
Now, Dallas did draft Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft and he is expected to compete for serious playing time right off the bat. But that doesn’t mean that Vasher isn’t going to get his shot as well during camp.
What makes Vasher a potential training camp breakout candidate is that his size is something Dallas doesn’t have on the roster. In fact, no other wide receiver in the Cowboys’ camp is over 6-foot-3.
The player that is 6-foot-3 is second-year pass catcher Simi Fehoko out of Stanford. Many believe that he and Vasher are competing for one spot on the roster. That might be a matchup that Vasher can win.
Fehoko got his shot to make an impact last season but he caught no passes despite appearing in five games (mostly on special teams). Thus, it is conceivable that Dallas could be looking for an upgrade and that could come in the form of Vasher.
As a Red Raider from 2016-20, Vasher hauled in 146 passes for 1,983 yards and 21 TDs. And along the way, he was known for being one of the most exciting players in the Big 12 given his penchant for making the miraculous catch.
But at the same time, he often struggled when it came to making the routine plays. That’s why he never took his game to the next level as many Red Raider fans believed he eventually would.
Along the way, he also had multiple team-imposed suspensions, a sign that his maturity was also lacking. Those off-the-field mistakes would be one reason why he would see his productivity dip over his final two seasons. And that dip in productivity likely cost him a shot at being taken in the NFL Draft.
However, he’s now turning some heads with the Cowboys and that could be the opportunity he needs. Dallas is a franchise looking for answers at wide receiver and perhaps Vasher can be one of the surprises of training camp and earn himself a roster spot.