WR Simi Fehoko eyes bigger role in Cowboys offense in 2022

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Simi Fehoko took a slightly longer path just to make it to the NFL. And while some first-year players like Micah Parsons accelerate their path to stardom from the start of their rookie season, the fifth round follows the same kind of slow, steady learning curve that made him a first-team All-Receiver. Pac-12 at Stanford.

Fehoko was on the field for just under a third of the Cowboys’ special teams games in 2021. He saw a grand total of seven offensive snaps. He did not record any official statistics.

But doing his job as part of a bigger machine instead of “the guy” is part of the learning process for the 6-foot-3, Utah native.

“At Stanford, we had a pretty complex playbook. But coming here is more about the concept,” Fehoko said last week in a interview with 105.3 The Fan’s Podcast Nosebleed Seats. “Like, for me in college, they were going to call, ‘You go deep. It’s your room. Here it’s more like, ‘Okay, that’s the whole concept and if you happen to get the reading we’re looking for, then that’s where we’re going.’ So it was more about conceptual learning than specific player-focused calls.

Fehoko got an early wake-up call that life as an NFL receiver would require a different set of tools.

“Day one or two at camp, I lined up one-on-one against Tre[von] Diggs,” Fehoko explained. “I faded out. He has just been completely intercepted by OBJ with one hand. And then I was like, ‘Wow. It’s the man. Welcome to the NFL. “

But he also received a warm welcome from someone who passed by. Four-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper took it upon himself to show Fehoko the ropes of life by catching balls at the pro level.

“Coop is my guy. He was the first, in a way, as a top guy, to take me under his wing. Us being a bit bigger – he’s 220, normally, and I came in at 225, 227 – he was one of those guys who took me under his wing and helped me with routes in mind- one-on-one, or any itineraries in general. He was like, ‘Okay, shove your hips in here’ or, ‘As a DB, I see this and you would do this.’ I was like, ‘Okay, whatever you say, you’re right. I got you. I will follow you as you tell me to. Obviously it was great for me to have him as a mentor, and obviously I will hopefully continue to have him as a mentor.

Fehoko, like the rest of Cowboys Nation, can’t be sure Cooper will be in Dallas next season. His big-ticket contract makes him a potential cut-or-trade target as the team seeks to balance the budget. And with fellow receivers Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner also set to become free agents, Fehoko could theoretically be catapulted into the depth chart in very little time.

It’s something Fehoko hopes to happen anyway, just because he has a full season under his belt. He’s already more mature than most returning recruits. Fehoko will turn 25 in just his second professional season, the result of his two-year LDS mission trip to Korea before college.

“I will have a bigger role, I would say, in attack and in special teams. Speaking with head coach McCarthy, he said, “Potentially this year you put on a little more weight and we can use you more as an end-receiver-type hybrid body,” which I have no problem with. to do. I played a much heavier weight in college. They made me lose weight here, so obviously gaining weight and playing with higher weight is not a problem.

An offseason in Texas could definitely help on that front. The self-proclaimed steak lover has already visited several well-known barbecue restaurants in the Metroplex. And although he admits to loving a good burger, the Californian college kid was too smart to get tricked into publicly declaring a favorite between cult rivals Whataburger and In-N-Out.

Putting on a few pounds ahead of training camp may serve Fehoko well as he hopes to show more of what many considered his best trait coming out of Stanford: a knack for battling loose balls from smaller cornerbacks.

“It’s something I liked, being a bigger frame, bigger receiver, it came a little more naturally,” he said. “DBs aren’t normally like Tre: a little taller, can jump out of the gym; they’re a bit smaller, and obviously big bodies thrive, those are the contested takes.

Fehoko and the Cowboys hope he has a better chance of thriving in 2022.

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