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Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy sees increasing confidence from WR Jalen Tolbert in impressive preseason

After a forgettable rookie campaign, Dallas Cowboys receiver Jalen Tolbert continues to turn heads during preseason action.

In Saturday's 22-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Tolbert led the contest with 66 yards on four catches, including several sensational snags that displayed good body control and solid hands.

"I am just building on what I have been trying to build on the whole training camp," Tolbert said after the game. "Continuing to grow and build confidence in playing, and playing fast. It was fun to go out there, compete and show what I can do."

The Cowboys selected the South Alabama product in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, hoping he could immediately inject playmaking ability into a shallow receiver corps last season. It didn't happen.

Tolbert caught two passes for 12 yards on 89 total offensive snaps over eight games during his rookie campaign.

This offseason, the second-year wideout has impressed. Saturday, Tolbert made a fantastic adjustment on a back-shoulder pass from Cooper Rush and hung onto the pigskin despite being interfered with by Seahawks starting corner Michael Jackson for a 35-yard gain.

"My takeaways can be play speed and being able to play faster than everybody else," Tolbert said. "Being decisive on my reads, adjustments or what I think I should do. Not thinking too much, just going out there and really trying to be comfortable and confident. That's my takeaway from the game, and just continue to grow on that."

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy sees a more confident Tolbert entering Year 2.

"Yeah, I mean, just the confidence No. 1. It just jumps off the field," the coach said. "I think that's really attributed to his hard work. He's had a heck of an offseason. He's cashing in on opportunities. He's going up and making plays. I like the instinct of plays, the scramble plays, the extended plays. So I just think it shows you how much he's grown. He's on the same page as the quarterbacks, so I thought he had a nice night."

Tolbert's impressive offseason has helped him virtually lock up the Cowboys WR4 gig. With CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks as the starters, Tolbert might not play a massive role off the bat, but if injury strikes, the second-year wideout is likely the next man up. If he continues the upward trend he's shown this offseason, the Dallas offense will be just fine if he's forced to play a host of snaps.

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