Last season, Tony Romo had one of the best seasons of his career, if not the best. That was thanks in large part to the emergence of third wide receiver Laurent Robinson. Robinson contributed to what was an explosive and efficient offense, and was a key factor in the team’s success.
The question all offseason has been “who will be the Cowboys No. 3 receiver?” While in-house options like Andre Holmes, Cole Beasley, Danny Coale and Dwayne Harris are all competing for the spot, the answer might be looking elsewhere.
So I thought we’d take a look at some of the top receiver free agents and how they’d fit with the Dallas Cowboys.
“Big” Mike Williams burst on to the scene in 2010 after Pete Carroll signed him off the streets. Williams worked hard for his college coach and produced a 65-reception, 751-yard season.
Williams is a 6'5", 235-lb receiver who is big and strong. Unfortunately, last season he was unproductive and now he finds himself back on those same streets.
Williams would be ideal though for what the Cowboys are looking for. In three-receiver sets he could move to an outside receiving role for the Cowboys and let Miles Austin slip inside to the slot.
At 28 and with a history of being out of shape, Williams is probably a long shot. If the Cowboys could bring him in and he can prove he’s in game shape, it might be worth it.
Chances he's a Cowboy Week 1? Slim to none.
Mike Sims-Walker is another one-and-done player. In 2009, he was all the fantasy rage as he surprised the Jaguars with a 63-reception, 869-yard, seven-touchdown season. Since then, he’s been off the map to say the least. Sims-Walker had a tryout with the Titans this offseason and never got a call back.
Sims-Walker is another big receiver at 6'2", 212 lbs. I get the feeling that the Cowboys will be looking at players who fit well as outside receivers.
Sims-Walker is a strong receiver who may have just been victim of horrendous quarterback play in Jacksonville. I think that he offers a legitimate red-zone threat that would be an instant upgrade over some of the young guys on the roster.
Another great thing about him is he doesn’t have a history of bad behavior in his short-lived career. Which is good since you have so many young, impressionable receivers in the locker room.
Chances he’s a Cowboy by Week 1? I’d say that Sims-Walker has as good of a shot as any and might be a great fit in Dallas.
Crayton is an obvious pick here because of his past with the organization. Crayton was incredibly consistent for the Cowboys in his six seasons with them. Not to mention that Crayton already has a good on-field chemistry with Tony Romo.
Crayton has fizzled out since his trade to San Diego and could use a comfortable situation to get him back on his feet. Dallas could use an experienced third receiver who is familiar with the base offense. It seems like a perfect match, right?
Well, if you remember, Crayton wasn’t exactly singing his appreciation for the Cowboys organization when he left and there might be some distaste there.
However, you can’t discount the impact he would have on this team. Everything from his production to work ethic is admirable and could be a real positive for this team.
Chances he’s a Cowboy by Week 1? Highly unlikely, but I’m not ruling it out.
When Mark Clayton was drafted out of Oklahoma, I remember people saying that he was going to be great. Well, that didn’t quite pan out, did it? Still, he was relatively productive in Baltimore and was doing well in St. Louis before an injury occurred.
Still, Clayton is 5'10", 190 lbs and more of a slot receiver than anything. This would suit the Cowboys if they were willing to keep Miles Austin on the outside, but Miles is way too effective in the slot.
I think Clayton could work because of Tony Romo’s ability to utilize third receivers.
However, I don’t know that this is a move that Jason Garrett would care to make.
Clayton is 30 years old and hasn’t really done anything to this point that makes you believe he can be effective in the league. No other teams have seemed to show interest and the Rams didn’t even want him in their depleted receiving corps.
Chances he’s a Cowboy by Week 1? Worse than Joey Galloway’s.
Okay, this is the one you guys were clicking through the slideshow for. I am going on record saying I am so far against this move that we’re practically on different planets. However, for the sake of being impartial, I’m going to take an open-minded approach.
Plaxico Burress is a big, talented, productive wide receiver. Last season he snagged eight touchdowns in a run-first offense, and before being imprisoned he was a considered a Cowboy killer.
Ideally, Burress would be able to join the Cowboys and instantly make them exponentially more dangerous. He would be able to fit the exact mold of the third receiver the Cowboys like and his departure from New York probably makes this a good time to sign him to a one-year deal.
Plax could be huge for the Cowboys but there will always be major questions about him as a person. That last thing the organization wants is to reverse the culture shift that they have set in motion and add a cancer that would spread to the young guys the Cowboys feel so good about.
This is a dangerous move and the Cowboys must be careful when considering it. If he signs, there is no doubt he’ll be productive on the field, but what are you getting off of it?
Chances he’s a Cowboy Week 1? I’d say better than most, I think he fit best along with Mike Sims-Walker.