Dallas Cowboys Wide Receivers: Make Or Break
With training camp just around the corner, every Cowboys fan wants to know; What is up with the Wide Receivers? How is Roy doing? Can he even compete with the numbers that his predecessor Terrell Owens put up while in Big D? And if he can, will there be any receiving threats other than Williams and Witten?
At this point, I can't say anyone really knows what's up with the depth chart and where Tony Romo will be throwing.
For now, Roy is clearly and undoubtedly the primary receiver. For the first time in his career—college included—Roy Williams went on a weight lifting program. He is working out much more diligently and is trying to become that threat the Cowboys need in 2009.
He knows he has some big shoes to fill after the departure of No. 81 in Dallas. But if there are no other talented receiving threats, how can Williams even attempt to fit in those shoes?
So right now I see Patrick Clayton as the second wide receiver. Though Clayton is getting up there in age, he is a consistent, reliable weapon when used properly. Last year after Williams arrived, Crayton was demoted to third receiver and was used a great deal on punt return. He was much more efficiently than ex-Dallas cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.
As the third wide-out in 2008, Crayton had only almost 550 yards and four touchdowns. But in 2007, as Romo's second wide receiver to Terrell Owens, he had almost 700 yards and seven scores.
In turn, if put in the right position, Crayton can definitely produce No. 2 wide receiver stats enough to take some attention off of Williams.
The question then is who will play slot?
Initially, there is Miles Austin, whom when healthy has shown explosive speed, and impressive talent. But Austin, much like the next two wide-outs, is injury prone, which could be his only weakness going into this season.
Austin, though slightly inexperienced, definitely has the star capabilities of a slot wide receiver. I believe he is a threat that the rest of the league may overlook. Austin had only 13 receptions in 2008 and received for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns. If he is given the ball more often, there are some serious possibilities for big plays next year.
Another young talent is Sam Hurd, a very strong and quick wide receiver who showed a ton of progress last year. Hurd may be a surprise name heard around the league, but like Austin, he has to prove that he can stay healthy long enough.
The final receiver I've chosen to discuss is a QB turned WR experiment created by Jerry Jones himself. Isaiah Stanback is a young, raw, yet extremely physically gifted receiver who I have quite a bit of faith in.
Standing at 6-2, 208 lbs. Stanback has been injury plagued through the majority of his NFL career. But as stated by Michael Irvin in an NFL.com interview, Stanback has some instincts and abilities that just cannot be learned, and those, if polished and combined with little "nuances" that Irvin had to learn in order to beat corners\, would make for a wide receiver in Stanback that no corner could cover.
If Irvin believes in him, that’s good enough for me. On top of that, it's said that with his past experience at college QB in Washington, Stanback could create quite a great deal of chaos in the Cowboy's "Razorback" package we've heard so much about.
Stanback can not only dump the pass off to Felix Jones, but also throw all the way down the field, run the ball himself, or take off for a long ball, which is just what the 'Boy's need if they intend to have a successful season.
I'm quite looking forward to seeing Stanback not only quiet all the non-believers, but also compete for the third or fourth spot on the depth chart and hopefully create a receiving threat that defenses can't help but be a little nervous about.
Can't Wait for September
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