Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13400538o) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Noah Brown (85) hauls in a touchdown in front of Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) during the first half of an NFL football game, in Arlington, Tx Bengals Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 18 Sep 2022
Wide receiver Noah Brown was buried on the Cowboys depth chart last season behind Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Cedrick Wilson.
And despite seeing Cooper and Wilson leave in the offseason, Brown was still buried on the Cowboys depth chart when the team left for training camp this season because of the acquisitions of free agent James Washington and third-round pick Jalen Tolbert.
“In the prior two seasons, I know he wasn’t given a lot of opportunities,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said about Brown. “It was mainly special teams, and he rotated in. Now, just the fact that he’s playing more and the attention CeeDee (Lamb) gets in the passing game, he is cashing in on his opportunities. So, just couldn’t be happier for Noah.”
The Ohio State product, who had just 39 catches for 425 yards coming into the season since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2017, has spent much of his time working with other backups on the scout team, including backup quarterback and current starter Cooper Rush.
That work has paid off for Brown and the Cowboys.
Slow recovery to a 2021 injury for Gallup, a pre-season injury to Washington, and a tough learning curve for Tolbert pushed Brown into the starting lineup for the season opener against Tampa Bay.
“He is just a baller,” said Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush. “We have been together since we were rookies, and we are still around. He just keeps getting better and better every year. He earned that starting spot. … All he does is make tough catches. He is always in the right place at the right time.
He finished the game against the Bucs with five catches for 68 yards.
He followed that up with the best performance of his career; a five-catch, 91-yard, and one touchdown afternoon in the Cowboys’ Week 2 win over Cincinnati.
Brown, whose familiarity with Rush proved invaluable against the Bengals, made several big catches in the win.
“It is just a testament to all the work we put in inside the facility,” Brown said of the rapport he has with Rush. “Not a lot of people got to see Cooper, or me, in the past, really. The work showed today, and I am proud of that.”
Brown hauled in a 17-yard catch over the middle on fourth and two on the game’s first drive. Just six plays later, he would catch the first touchdown of the game from Rush.
“The fourth down early on, he got in there perfectly, and I cut it loose, and he was there,” Rush said about the pivotal catch. “He is a heck of a player.”
On the Cowboys’ second drive, Brown made a 28-yard catch and run on third and 10 to keep alive the drive that produced their second TD of the game.
“Noah is one of those awesome stories – sixth year and gets his first touchdown,” said Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. “It is hard for anyone who has been around this thing for a while, around the Cowboys, to think that’s his first touchdown. Great example of just going through the process. … It has been awesome.”
Finally, with the game tied and the Cowboys driving for the game-winning field goal, Brown made a 12-yard grab to keep the drive moving forward.
“I was out there doing the dirty work (Sunday) too,” Brown said. “I always take pride in that. I take pride in getting open, take pride in blocking or whatever I have to do.”
In his five-plus seasons, Brown has made seven starts in 52 games played. He also played in three playoff games, making just two catches for 19 yards.
“This organization has put a lot of trust in me for a long time,” Brown said. “To come out here on a big stage, in a big moment, and make a play, I was happy I was able to do that for my guys.”