This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most interesting teams not for what they have done, but what they didn't do. They didn't fire Mike McCarthy after an embarrassing playoff loss. They didn't re-sign Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Tony Pollard, Dorance Armstrong, Stephon Gilmore or Jayron Kearse. And they didn't sign all that many free agents to replace those guys. They didn't sign any of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb or Micah Parsons to contract extensions.

They also didn't really add to their wide receiver room, with the lone addition being a sixth-round pick out of Central Missouri, Ryan Flournoy, who will turn 25 years old in October. Instead, after cutting Michael Gallup, Dallas will be counting on internal improvements to pick up the slack behind Lamb and Brandin Cooks.

The player with the biggest opportunity to step up is 2022 third-round pick Jalen Tolbert, from whom wide receivers coach Robert Prince is expecting big things.

"We expect all of those guys to make a jump," Prince said, via the team's official website. "It starts with [Tolbert]. He made a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and we expect the same thing to happen for him going into Year 3."

It's nice to want things, or even expect them. But expecting a big jump from Tolbert is probably unwise, given the recent history of players like him. The table below shows the list of players drafted between the second and fourth rounds between 2015 and 2022 who had more than 10 but fewer than 25 catches across their first two NFL seasons combined. 

John MetchieHOU202224430161580
Velus Jones Jr.CHI202237121111271
Jalen TolbertDAL202238839242802
Calvin AustinPIT2022413830171801
D'Wayne EskridgeSEA202125633171221
Tutu AtwellLAR202125735182981
Dyami BrownWAS202138239173082
Amari RodgersGB202138533202491
Anthony SchwartzCLE202139133141861
JJ Arcega-WhitesidePHI201925730142541
Parris CampbellIND201925933241981
Riley RidleyCHI2019412611101080
Chad WilliamsARI201739853202021
Leonte CarrooMIA20163861810981
Chris MooreBAL2016410754252943
Pharoh CooperLAR2016411739251900
Demarcus RobinsonKC2016412639212120
Devin SmithNYJ201523731101351
Sammie CoatesPIT201538751224462
Ty MontgomeryGB201539419151362

Of the 16 who have already progressed beyond their second season, you can say that maybe three of them have become contributors. And even that is a stretch because those three are Tutu Atwell, Parris Campbell, and Demarcus Robinson -- none of whom is realistically even a No. 3 receiver.

You might want to say, well, Tolbert didn't play much as a rookie, and then he really only took over a spot in the lineup down the stretch of Year 2. But the first part of that "but" is a bug, not a feature, and the second part elides the fact that over the final 10 games of last year (when he started playing more snaps at Gallup's expense), Tolbert's prorated season-long receiving line of 26 catches for 335 yards and three touchdowns wasn't all that much better than his actual line of 22 for 268 and two. 

Maybe he really does make a leap, but it's just not reasonable to expect a big leap from a player who has been as unproductive through two seasons as has Tolbert. The Cowboys are expecting it simply because they need it. And that's not a justifiable basis on which to form an expectation.