Brown will become just the ninth receiver signed to the 90-man offseason roster. Teams typically carry 10-plus receivers in the offseason. That number includes Brandon LaFell, who’s about to hit free agency in one month.
The Cowboys originally signed the former Notre Dame star receiver following the 2016 NFL Draft. Brown spent most of his college days overshadowed by Houston Texans first-round pick Will Fuller.
The 6-2, 194-pound Brown still caught 48 passes for 597 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season. He finished his college career with 104 receptions for 1,410 yards and six touchdowns in four years for the Fighting Irish. He also starred on the track team as a sprinter and jumper, even running with the United States Junior track team.
NFL.com gave Brown a ‘Round 7 or Priority Free Agent’ grade heading into last year’s draft. Brown had a good showing in Dallas’ training camp before suffering a broken foot. He was eventually given the waived-injured designation and then landed on the team’s Injured Reserve list after going unclaimed.
With LaFell set to hit free agency, Brown certainly has a chance to fight for a roster spot next year. If nothing else, he could earn a spot on the practice squad. He would just have to beat out the likes of Jake Kumerow and Alonzo Russell to do so, in addition to any other receiver the team adds this year in the Draft or undrafted free agency.
But to crack the final roster, he’d have to overtake someone like James Wright or Cody Core for one of the final spots. It’s hard to see that happening, but then again, few thought Core and Wright would make the kind of impact they have, so maybe Brown will turn into another surprise.
Brown’s receiving stats at Notre Dame
Here are some highlights of the newest Bengal from his college days, though please be aware this video contains NSFW language.