Dallas Cowboys' Battle For Third Wide Receiver Means Little, Yet

By Ben Grimaldi

There has been a ton of discussion over who will win the third wide receiver spot for the Dallas Cowboys. Will it be Jerry Jones’ pet project Andre Holmes or last years training camp star Raymond Radway? Or will it be one of the Cole’s, fifth round draft pick from Virginia Tech Danny Coale or undrafted receiver from SMU Cole Beasley? And let’s not forget second year pro Dwayne Harris or perhaps the Cowboys will pick up a veteran free agent wide receiver. There does seem to be a lot of options.

First things first, please stop saying because they need a third wide receiver that they need a slot guy. They don’t. The Cowboys already have a slot receiver, his name is Miles Austin and he’s pretty darn good in there.

The Cowboys search does have some interesting players and I’m sure everyone out there has a reason why a certain receiver should be the Cowboys third wide out over another. To me the answer is a bit simpler, who cares. Honestly, it’s probably a lot of worrying for nothing. The Cowboys already have three main options with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. Throw in two very good receiving running backs, DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, and there likely isn’t enough passes to go around as it is.

Think about it in terms of a defenses coverage, of the three main receivers the Cowboys have, the defense can double team two of them leaving one of those three to beat single coverage. I like the odds of Dez Bryant, Miles Austin or Jason Witten to beat any single defensive player in those situations. Just putting another body out in three receiver sets should mean the Cowboys can get good matchups all over the field.

I’m not saying the third wide receiver spot isn’t important, just that it isn’t as big an issue as you think. Last year at this time they didn’t have a third receiver either but they found lightening in a bottle with Laurent Robinson. This year the Cowboys could go looking for a veteran wide receiver but they also like the young receivers they have on the roster. Not only do they have a group of young receivers they like but they also come in different forms. Andre Holmes has great size and speed and improved on the practice squad last year.

They also like the size of Raymond Radway, who had a great training camp last year and was on his way to making their roster before injuring his leg on the last play of the pre-season. Dwayne Harris is back for his second season with the Cowboys as well. While he was on the active roster for the Cowboys last year he didn’t record a single catch. According to the Cowboys though, Harris has thrived in the off-season strength and conditioning program and looks like a different player.

Other options include rookies Danny Coale, who was drafted because of his hands and toughness and undrafted Cole Beasley. During mini-camps Beasley stood out to many observers because of his ability to find openings in the defense. Beasley’s small size, 5-8 and  177 lbs, have people comparing him to Wes Welker, a claim which Beasley denies.

So despite the fact there is no clear cut favorite for the Cowboys third receiver spot, they feel good about their options. The list may not have any recognizable names but let’s see them in training camp before we start to worry if they have enough receivers. The Cowboys have plenty of offensive weapons to be a very good offense even without a bona fide third wide receiver. If we look back a few years ago at the 2009 Cowboys, they went into the season with starting wide receivers named Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. Miles Austin waited until week 5 of that season to arrive, so there is no reason for panic right now.

The trouble I think most fans are worried about is if either starting receiver gets hurt or if Dez Bryant gets suspended, which is a concern. Then who will step up for the Cowboys offense?  I understand that you want depth at each position but injury is a concern for a lot of teams in the league and there is nothing you can do about injuries. 

The Cowboys do need someone to step up and become their third wide receiver but let’s see how training camp plays out before the panic button is pushed. The team believes in these young receivers so let’s give the team time to evaluate how they develop.

It’s certainly a position to watch in training camp but I’m willing to bet that someone will emerge as the Cowboys third receiver. The good news is there are plenty of options and the time for speculating who it’ll be will soon be over.   





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