Jun 14

Wide Receiver A Position Of Strength For Cowboys…Is It Really?


With organized team activities and the mandatory mini-camp completed, there has been a lot of talk about the Cowboys of late. How good can they be in 2010? Can they improve on that one playoff victory last season?

Another area that has generated a lot of talk lately is the wide receiver position. Roy Williams will be back again to try to save face for Jerry Jones. The Cowboys moved up a few slots to take Dez Bryant in the first round of the draft. That draft pick prompted both Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd to say they wanted to be traded, but both have since recanted. We want to see more from Mr. Ogletree and Mr. Holley.

On the surface, it looks like the wide receiver position is one of strength for the Cowboys this season. But, is it really? It is easy for any true fan to certainly see the awesome possibilities with this year’s WR group. But, I submit the following points as evidence that the Dallas wide receivers still have a lot of questions that fans hope all turn into positive answers. Here are my concerns:

*It can be argued that Miles Austin is the true #1 receiver on the team. He had a tremendous season in 2009, and finally signed his first and third-round tender last week while still hoping for a long-term contract. He made the Pro Bowl last season and looks like the real deal. However, let’s all remember that before his break-out year in ’09, he was very injury prone for all the other seasons he’s been in Dallas. We can only hope he remains healthy again this year.

*Roy Williams still exhibits all the confidence in the world in himself, and JJ has declared him a starter for 2010 despite the belief by many that Williams should not rank any higher than third-best receiver on the Cowboys roster.
There have been cries for a fair competition to see if Williams should indeed start or hit the pines. Much concern over a lack of open competition is what prompted the trade talk with Crayton and Hurd.

*Like Miles Austin, Hurd comes with plenty of almost-every-season injury baggage. He’s been a great special-teamer, but he really hasn’t seen an abundance of wide receiver action. There’s still hope he’ll have a break-out year similar to what Austin did last season.

*Crayton is back in the fold after missing most of the OTAs, and he appears to be happy. But, how long will that last? Is he an injury or two away from being right back in the starting lineup? Or, is he going to be a disruptive force if things don’t go his way?

*Ogletree and Holley have shown flashes of potential greatness, but so far that’s all we know about them. Maybe they have a great future in Dallas. Who knows for sure?

*Lastly, but certainly not leastly, there’s Dez. He has all the tools to be as good or better than Randy Moss. But, he has to prove himself on the field. Right now, that word “potential” keeps flashing.

So, if all the pieces fall into place, the Dallas Cowboys could indeed be very strong at wide receiver in 2010. But, injuries, poor play and other factors could just as easily send things in a different direction.

This article is not intended to be a pessimistic outlook. It is simply intended to point out some concerns–concerns I personally feel the Cowboys will work out in a positive manner. I would appreciate thoughts from others. What do you guys and gals think?