The down time before training camp starts is a difficult stretch for football fans. There’s not much going on and it makes it hard to wake up and read the latest NFL news. Just about everything that is written and produced are predictions and speculation. Well I’m here to tell you this post is exactly that with a little common sense mixed in for good measure. Until training camp starts that’s about all anyone can do.
There are plenty of options on the roster to fill the third receiver position. As everyone is pointing out, the only receiver that has a single catch in the NFL that is currently on the roster is Kevin Ogletree. I’m here to tell you he is not the answer. We all saw how fast he was replaced last season when a capable alternative stepped up. When Laurent Robinson started making plays, Ogletree folded and wasn’t heard from for the rest of the season. Who’s to say the same thing won’t happen again?
The other buzz that was put down yesterday was the possibility of the Cowboys selecting Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. The Cleveland Browns ended up selecting him in the second round, and I’m glad they did. It would have been a huge mistake to select Gordon. The last thing Dallas needs is to bring in a questionable character when they are so close to putting it all together and making a run. Plus, like the title says, the third receiver is already on the roster. Let me explain.
Year in and year out Jason Witten is a double threat of sorts as the starting tight end. He provides ample blocking support for the offensive line, but that’s not the skill set I want to highlight. Witten’s ability to create mismatches and get open is a huge asset for the team. He seems to always be there when Tony Romo rolls out of the pocket and looks for someone to get open.
Since 2003 when Witten came into the league, he’s amassed 696 receptions and 41 touchdowns. He’s has three 1,000 yard seasons in his career to date. With the uncertaintly and lack of experience coming from the remaining wide receiving options I think Witten has the ability to put up another one. The thing that really stands out is the fact he has played in every game since 2004. He’s consistent and that’s a hard thing to overlook. Because of this there is no reason he should be considered anything less than the third receiving option.
I don’t want anyone to interpret this post as me saying there is no need for another receiver to step up and produce. I would love nothing more than to have three pro bowl caliber wide receivers on the field with Witten. I just don’t see the need for everyone to think that’s the only way Dallas will have enough weapons in the passing game.
When Witten’s career comes to an end down the road, there will be some huge shoes to fill. Until then let’s appreciate the contributions he makes.