Can The Dallas Cowboys Replace Wideout Laurent Robinson In Free Agency?

It took what could be considered the biggest leap of faith offer of all time to lure wide receiver Laurent Robinson away from the Dallas Cowboys. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed the Illinois State alum to a five-year, $32.5 million deal on Wednesday. (an alleged $14 million guaranteed). This to a wideout with a long history of injury and only one good year out of his first five seasons. It was such a ridiculous offer for a third wide receiver option that the Cowboys didn’t even attempt to match it. But this new development means Dallas has the difficult task of replacing Robinson’s position and his production.

The Cowboys will be looking to hit the jackpot again, like they did with Robinson in Week Three of last season. Let’s take a look at their free agent options: Here are the wide receiver options currently on the market via Yahoo! Sports and  Pro Football Weekly. (as of Thursday morning)

Wide receivers FA Type 2011 Team 2012 Team
Danny Amendola RFA St. Louis
David Anderson UFA Washington
Devin Aromashodu UFA Minnesota
Donnie Avery UFA Tennessee
Dwayne Bowe FFA Kansas City
Deion Branch UFA New England
Plaxico Burress UFA New York Jets
Andre Caldwel UFA Cincinnati
Greg Camarillo UFA Minnesota
Michael Clayton UFA New York Giants
Mark Clayton UFA St. Louis
Jerricho Cotchery UFA Pittsburgh
Patrick Crayton UFA San Diego
Rashied Davis UFA Detroit
Early Doucet UFA Arizona
Harry Douglas UFA Atlanta Atlanta
Pierre Garcon UFA Indianapolis Washington
Ted Ginn Jr. UFA San Francisco
Anthony Gonzalez UFA Indianapolis
Derek Hagan UFA Buffalo
Domenik Hixon UFA New York Giants
T.J. Houshmandzadeh UFA Oakland
DeSean Jackson FFA Philadelphia Philadelphia
Vincent Jackson UFA San Diego Tampa Bay
Bryant Johnson UFA Houston
Brandon Lloyd UFA St. Louis
Mario Manningham UFA New York Giants
Robert Meachem UFA New Orleans San Diego
Josh Morgan UFA San Francisco Washington
Legedu Naanee UFA Carolina
Kevin Ogletree UFA Dallas
Kasim Osgood cut Jacksonville
Roscoe Parrish UFA Buffalo
Laurent Robinson UFA Dallas Jacksonville
Courtney Roby UFA New Orleans
Eddie Royal UFA Denver
Chaz Schilens UFA Oakland
Jerome Simpson UFA Cincinnati
Matt Slater UFA New England
Steve Smith UFA Philadelphia
Micheal Spurlock UFA Tampa Bay
Donté Stallworth UFA Washington
Maurice Stovall UFA Detroit
Brett Swain UFA San Francisco
Devin Thomas UFA New York Giants
Jerheme Urban UFA Kansas City
Mike Wallace RFA Pittsburgh
Reggie Wayne UFA Indianapolis Indianapolis
Eric Weems UFA Atlanta Chicago
Wes Welker FFA New England
Roy Williams UFA Chicago
Matt Willis RFA Denver

Considering the limited cap space the Cowboys have, some of the bigger names on this list are not even a possibility. Who wouldn’t love to have a Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd or Mario Manningham as their third option? And although I think most Dallas fans would love the idea of his return, I don’t think Patrick Crayton wants to fill his old position. And don’t even think about mentioning the name Roy Williams to a true Cowboy fan. If you do, be prepared to duck.

November 6, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn (19) runs with the ball against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The 49ers won 19-11. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The first of three names that intrigue me on this list is Ted Ginn Jr. The former first round pick by the Miami Dolphins back in 2007 is not much of a receiver, but he is one heck of a return specialist. He helped San Francisco get to the playoffs under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh last season and even took a pay cut to do so.  And the Cowboys need a special teams’ playmaker desperately. Ginn would pull double duty by returning punts and kickoffs, plus he’s a serviceable vertical threat.

The second name is former New York Giant wideout Steve Smith. Smith signed with the “dream team” Philadelphia Eagles last season after recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee. But Smith never really found his rhythm in Philly recording his lowest  stats since his rookie season. And Eagle fan rumors say he played afraid last year possibly due to his previous injury.  But the upside is that he’s only a sixth year veteran whose just two seasons removed from a 107 reception year back in 2009. And he could be available for a song.

The last name on my list is Greg Camarillo. The Standford alum had two 50+ reception seasons in Miami before finding receiver purgatory in Minnesota recording just 29 catches total in the past two years. At 6’2, Camarillo has the size to compete with the bigger corners in the NFC East plus a good set of hands.  The 30 year old veteran could also bring some much needed leadership to a young wide receiver corps that could include last year’s preseason star Dwayne Harris and the 6’5 project from division II Hillsdale College, Andre Holmes.

If the Cowboys are unable to find a replacement for Robinson in free agency, they may choose to do so in the latter rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Topics: Andre Holmes, Greg Camarillo, Laurent Robinson, Patrick Crayton, Roy Williams, Steve Smith, Tedd Ginn Jr.

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