The moves were coming fast and furious for the Dallas Cowboys over the past few days, especially at the wide receiver position. First, it was signing Deonte Thompson, and then the next man up was Allen Hurns, who left his visit without signing but came back to ink with the team.
Those are the two new members of the wide receiver corps for the Cowboys, in what has now become a crowded room. Insiders have said that Dez Bryant is safe, so that makes a total of seven receivers right now. The group includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown to add to Dez, Thompson, and Hurns.
That’s a hefty amount of receivers for a team that wants to run the ball down your throat for most of the game. Now, will they all stay, that’s the biggest question? Trading or outright releasing Williams or Beasley might now be on the table, even if the team has to eat some money.
However, if none of that happens, and they keep them all, how will it look? The top three receivers, Bryant, Hurns, and Williams all fit the same template in terms of size, and the other group is the small, shifty guys Beasley and Switzer.
The team also got a true deep threat in Thompson, who was 23rd in the league in yards per catch, 35 spots above Dallas’ best guy, Bryant, in 2017.
That leaves Brown to be the odd man out. Brown has shown glimpses of being a developmental receiver and the good news he’s so young the team can wait a year or two before asking him to play significant snaps. However, if he plays well in the preseason, it might be hard to stash him on the practice squad.
If the plan is to get more Dak Friendly, perhaps these moves help. Moving around Dez and having Hurns as a guy capable of playing multiple receiver positions is a nice bonus. Hurns has had success in the slot and all three of the top receivers for the Cowboys are great with the ball in their hands in space. Get Dez, Hurns or Williams the ball on some short throws with room to run and we’ll see an offense that moves the chains more in 2018.
Perhaps the plan also includes getting Ezekiel Elliott more involved in the passing game as well, in which case Hurns is a good blocker, just like Bryant and Williams. And just when your defense thinks they are going to sit on the short routes, there goes a deep shot to Thompson, who is a better option than Brice Butler, who he essentially replaces.
Now we’re starting to get somewhere with a little different look from this offense.
Signing the two receivers might also kick the can on receiver being a need down the road until next offseason. The Cowboys have needs and they might not all be addressed in the draft, these moves may help the Cowboys zero in on other positions. Imagine this offensive line adding another piece like Isaiah Wynn or Will Hernandez, or maybe one of the top linebackers to help the defense. Grabbing Hurns and Thompson makes wide receiver a position they don’t need to reach for when the draft comes around.
It’s not perfect and neither Thompson, nor Hurns is a game breaker, but they can help. There’s life the front office for the Dallas Cowboys, and it’s exactly what fans were waiting to see. They need to continue the momentum.
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