Although the Dallas Cowboys fell short against the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-23 in their first preseason game of 2023, the young talent on the depth chart showed the potential impact they can make for the team.
One that went into the game with all eyes on what he would do was wide receiver Jalen Tolbert, who has had an uphill battle to build a new mindset ahead of the season. After the game, Tolbert talked exclusively with PFN about scoring his first NFL touchdown, how his note-taking has translated to the field, and what he wishes he could go back and tell himself a year ago.
Jalen Tolbert on His First NFL Touchdown
Tolbert had only two receptions for 29 yards during the game, but the highlight was the touchdown he had in the second quarter that put the Cowboys on the board.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 12, 2023
Tolbert said the touchdown was fast in the moment, and it hasn’t hit him yet that it happened. One of the first guys to hype him up after the touchdown was CeeDee Lamb, who told him it was “the first of many.”
Tolbert says it meant a lot coming from Lamb — who has 20 touchdowns to his career so far — to tell him that.
With all of the build-up for Tolbert to get to a place of confidence that shines in his game, he says it’s surreal, but there is still room to grow.
“I want to continue to keep getting better and continue to keep improving on and off the field,” said Tolbert.
Jalen Tolbert Discusses His Note-Taking Translating to the Field and Self Advice
Not only did Tolbert’s work on the field help contribute to his production, but so did his mastery of note-taking. In fact, Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer discussed Tolbert’s notes as blowing him away in training camp.
“How he has prepared his mind for a young player, you’re talking about a second-year player; I was blown away. I told him that you need to save that, and I’m gonna use that in front of the offense. It’s dynamic,” said Schottenheimer.
Tolbert says his notes allowed him to feel comfortable moving around and knowing where he is supposed to go.
“I can learn best by drawing. I’m very artistic, and so drawing plays and just understanding the bigger picture is something that helped me as far as playing all four of the wide receiver positions,” said Tolbert.
He said that because of his notes and the time he took to study, he can play fast and confident now.
When we asked Tolbert what advice he would give himself a year ago when he struggled to find that confidence, he said, “Everything is being asked of you because you’re able to do it. Don’t ask yourself why. Just thank God, thank yourself for your ability, and just go out there and step up to the target. Just be confident; you belong where you’re supposed to be at.”
Tolbert also said that his advice would mention telling his past self that he is being asked to do everything because the team believes in him and he can do it.
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