Once free agency started in March, the Cowboys lost one of their most productive players in 2011, that being wideout Laurent Robinson, who signed a 1 year deal and posted a career high 54 catches for 858 yards, and 11 touchdown grabs as a #3 wide receiver, and even had 4 starts to his credit.
The Jacksonville Jaguars took quick notice to his production and signed him to a 5 year $32.5 mil deal with $14 mil in guaranteed money. Not bad for a guy who was basically an unknown for the first 4 years of his career bouncing from the Falcons ( who drafted him in the 3rd round in 2007 ), to the Rams, to the Chargers, then on to Dallas where he had previously only had 89 catches, 1000 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, and 20 career starts from 2007 – 2010.
Now the Cowboys are back to square one as they couldn’t come close to matching what the Jags offered, and it all starts in training camp.
It is most likely the club will keep 6 wide receivers for the 2012 season, along with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, the boys literally have no proven depth behind the starting two, unless you want to count Kevin Ogletree and his 25 catches and 294 receiving yards in 3 seasons. I am going to break down the depth chart :
* 1. Dez Bryant ( 2010 1st round draft selection )
* 2. Miles Austin ( 2006 Rookie Free Agent )
3. Kevin Ogletree ( 2009 Rookie Free Agent )
4. Andre Holmes ( 2011 Rookie Free Agent )
5. Dwayne Harris ( 2011 6th round draft selection )
6. Cole Beasley ( 2012 Rookie Free Agent )
7. Danny Coale ( 2012 5th round draft selection )
8. Raymond Radway ( 2011 Rookie Free Agent )
9. Tim Benford ( 2012 Rookie Free Agent )
10. Donavon Kemp ( 2012 Rookie Free Agent )
11. Saalim Hakim ( 2012 Rookie Free Agent )
12. David Little ( 2012 Rookie Free Agent )
* indicates starter
And if that’s not enough to worry you, Austin always tends to have hamstring problems, missing 6 games alone in 2011. Bryant tends to find himself in trouble, and could still face suspension time for his altercation back in early July for a domestic assault on his own mother.
So where does this leave the Cowboys ? There are several options. They could take the best 6 they have now and hope for the best. They could look in the waiver wire after final cuts hoping to find the next Robinson. Or they could entertain another team with a trade offer, possibly using a player, or 2013 draft picks, or possibly a combination of both if they want to succeed on offense this season, and cover themselves for depth and injury purposes.
Regardless, this is going to be the biggest task for the Cowboys before the season begins. Just wish they would have been more positive about having the proper depth before letting Robinson go.