The New England Patriots released former Pro Bowl receiver Chad Ochocinco on Thursday, beginning a truckload of rumors regarding his NFL future, including the possibility of him joining the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys are indeed trying to find a solid No. 3 receiver following the departure of Laurent Robinson to the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency. However, Ochocinco is absolutely not what Dallas needs at that position.
For starters, Dez Bryant is a stellar X receiver, which is the position Ochocinco has played for the vast majority of his career. Bryant has been through some off-the-field issues in his first two NFL seasons, but finally seems to be growing up during his first full off-season and the last thing the Cowboys need is bad influence on the young rising star from a washed up loudmouth like Ochocinco.
Dallas also has a stud Z receiver in Miles Austin, who is trying to desperately to develop into a leader for this Cowboys team, but must stay healthy and on the field to accomplish that.
At the No. 3 spot, the Cowboys want a young player with room to grow and the ability to play the slot. Ochocinco has none of those qualities.
Has everyone forgotten Ochocinco has some serious ego issues? Sure, he didn’t show them in New England because he respected and feared Bill Belichick. However, that won’t be the case in Dallas. If the Cowboys are mediocre again and Ochocinco isn’t getting many balls thrown his way then he’ll start making a fuss to the media and in the locker room and Lord knows the Cowboys don’t need any more distractions.
Sure, Austin can play the slot and play it well, but playing on the outside doesn’t mean Ochocinco will return to form. He’s lost a step and if he couldn’t become a solid option with Tom Brady throwing to him in the Patriots’ pass-happy offense, then he sure won’t be any help to the Cowboys, who finally established a running game last season with DeMarco Murray.
Seriously, Ochocinco caught 15 passes for 276 yards and one score last season. That’s it. He put up better numbers in his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals over a decade ago. The Patriots do nothing but throw the ball – only the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints had more pass attempts in 2011 – so there’s no way he can help the Cowboys, who also have arguably the NFL’s best tight end in Jason Witten to catch passes from Tony Romo.
If Ochocinco couldn’t get open with teammates like Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez on the field, then he’s certainly not going to be a viable option in Dallas. With his ego issues, immature personality and the fact he’s lost his edge, Dallas would be nuts to sign him. Terrell Owens ripped the Cowboys’ locker room apart, but at least he put up solid numbers while he was in Dallas.
The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans have also been rumored as possible landing spots for Ochocinco. Let one of them sign him and deal with that headache. The Cowboys don’t need him.