OXNARD, Calif. — The battle at one of the most important positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys is heating up, and in a major, major way. Entering 2022 training camp, the wide receiver unit was wrought with question marks — following the trade of four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper, the loss of Cedrick Wilson to free agency and the fact Michael Gallup has himself said penciling him in for Week 1 (as he still works his way back from a torn ACL suffered in 2021) is “not reasonable.” That leaves room for players like T.J. Vasher to show the team what they’ve got.
That’s exactly what Vasher did Friday, to say the very least, in the Cowboys’ third practice of camp. In a two-minute drill with Will Grier at quarterback, Vasher and former second-round pick Kelvin Joseph locked horns on several targets, with Joseph getting the best of the young receiver in the first two attempts, leading to a pass breakup and an errant pass.
But on the third, Grier lofted a dime to the back corner of the end zone that Vasher elevated to grab with one hand before reeling it into his body and maintaining possession all the way to the ground and through the play — all while staying inbounds.
“I work on those things: attacking the ball,” Vasher told media after practice. “At my size, it’s something I need to be good at, but it’s also second nature.”
A former star receiver at Texas Tech, Vasher is no stranger to making plays, particularly ones such as that above. It wasn’t enough to see him drafted, however, instead becoming an undrafted signing of the Cowboys in 2021. But, as noted, with clear lanes having been opened for younger guys like Vasher, rookie wideout Jalen Tolbert, veteran receiver James Washington and even newly-signed return ace KaVontae Turpin to potentially grab some reps, it’s a battle royale behind CeeDee Lamb and, when he returns, Gallup.
When asked if he’s been picking Lamb’s brain for tips on how to improve, the answer was yes.
“Me being a bigger guy? CeeDee is shifty, and I try to incorporate some of his game into mine,” Vasher said.
Asked about Vasher’s “Mossing” of Joseph, having himself made a similar catch in the previous training camp, Lamb smiled big and had but one word to describe it.