Cowboys’ Wide Receiver Situation: A Closer Look
Earlier today we posted our Dallas Cowboys 2010 projected depth chart. We are predicting that, barring a trade, the ‘Boys will keep six wide receivers on the roster. Since neither Patrick Crayton nor Sam Hurd were dealt on draft day, it is unlikely another team is going to yield a draft pick for them.
But will one of the Cowboys’ pass-catchers be released? NFL Network recently took a look at the situation:
If a Cowboys’ wide receiver is cut, it will almost certainly be either Crayton or Hurd. Obviously Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are locks to make the roster. It won’t make many fans happy, but Roy Williams isn’t going anywhere either. We can also throw Kevin Ogletree in that group, as his play in 2009 justifies his stay (particularly at such a young age).
While Crayton and Hurd were on the trade block, both still have valuable roles in Dallas. Crayton may have lost his return duties, but he is still the team’s only true slot receiver. He doesn’t do anything extraordinary, but he is a reliable player who goes over the middle and rarely drops balls. The #1 reason he would be released is financial–he is certainly getting paid more than a #4 WR should make. Still, Austin, Bryant, Williams, and Ogletree are big, physical receivers who aren’t necessarily well-suited for slot duties.
Hurd’s main role on the Cowboys is on special teams. He is arguably the team’s best player in that area. Don’t think for a second the Cowboys don’t value his contributions in the oft-overlooked third phase of the game.
If the Cowboys do release a wide receiver, we expect Hurd to be the one to leave. However, the Cowboys are in a position to truly keep the best (or near the best) 53 players. Is Hurd really on the fringe with players like Curtis Johnson, Marcus Dixon, and Travis Bright? We don’t think so.
Ironically, the Cowboys’ wide receiver situation may be linked to the foot of kicker David Buehler. If Buehler can win all kicking duties and save a roster position, Dallas may be able to afford the luxury of keeping six wide receivers. If Buehler struggles, the most likely roster spot to suffer would be the sixth receiver spot.