Do Cowboys Have Use For Dexter McCluster?
We hear it all the time when discussing Ole Miss athlete Dexter McCluster.
“He’s too slow.”
“He’s too small.”
“The Cowboys already have three running backs.”
The first two complaints are legitimate concerns which NFL teams will have to factor into their grade for McCluster (although he proved his speed at his Pro Day and football is quickly becoming a ‘small man’s game’).
However, the last criticism (and that which we hear most often from fans) is unjustified. Yes, McCluster can play running back and Dallas is loaded at the position.
Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t think the Cowboys should trade or release any of their backs. So how would there possibly be room for McCluster? Because any return man as potentially devastating to the opposition as McCluster can and should make the roster regardless of their position.
Would you like your return man to play a position where he can have a huge impact? Sure. Last time we checked, though, there aren’t too many left tackles returning kickoffs (now wait…does Raiders returner Gary Russell count?).
Further, McCluster can have a huge impact at positions other than running back. Remember, he is a tremendous slot receiver with the potential to take the ball to the house every time he touches it. The NFL is evolving in such a way that these smaller, quicker players are becoming in vogue. McCluster is nearly the same weight of DeSean Jackson when he was drafted.
In a way, McCluster’s offensive prowess is a bonus for the Cowboys. The team was so unsatisfied with Patrick Crayton’s return ability last year that they signed return specialist Allen Rossum at one point. Rossum of course got injured on his first touch, but the point is that any player who figures to contribute on offense or defense will instantly be providing more than Dallas had planned for Rossum.
Who would you rather have on your team: an aging return specialist or a dynamic athlete will sensational return ability who can play the slot, run specialty plays (Wildcat, end-arounds), and even handle a few carries a game?