Cowboys Need Rookie WR Coale to Heal and Develop Quickly After Bryant Arrest

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 17, 2012

IRVING, TX - MAY 5:  Danny Coale #81 of the Dallas Cowboys works out during rookie minicamp on May 5, 2012 at the Valley Ranch Complex in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys came into the offseason with one of the most talented pairs of starting wide receivers in the league—and no proven wideouts on the roster beyond Miles Austin and Dez Bryant

Free agent and 2011 revelation Laurent Robinson got the starter money everyone expected him to get from Jacksonville, and the Cowboys were left with only the disappointing Kevin Ogletree at wide receiver—at least if you are counting receivers that have actually had significant playing time in the NFL before.

The team did not sign any splashy free agents, and they waited until the fifth round to take a wide receiver, although they got a good one.

Danny Coale was the No. 1 wide receiver on a Virginia Tech team that didn't feature a pass-heavy offense. Because of that, his numbers topped out at 60 receptions for 904 yards in his senior year, but he is an accomplished route runner with great deep speed and ball skills. He is very polished for a receiver that came from a run-first offense.

Coale would be a good candidate to be the third wide receiver and potential opening day starter if Bryant's arrest after a domestic dispute results in a suspension.

Bryant has been in the news for negative reasons in the past, and this is his second off-field incident this offseason. A suspension is certainly possible, but the Cowboys might not be able to rely on Coale because he has missed most of the offseason after breaking his foot in their first OTA.

Jerry Jones likes 2011 undrafted free agent Andre Holmes, and Ogletree could always find the 2010 momentum he lost last year. 2011 sixth-round pick Dwayne Harris is also back with the team after a short stint as a free agent last season.

The Cowboys would have to be pleased if any of this cast steps up, but the fifth-round pick they spent on Coale is the biggest investment they made any of their secondary receivers. If he can heal from his broken foot in time for the open of training camp, Coale should play a large role for any games that Bryant misses, and maybe even for the games that he plays.