Multiple reports came out yesterday of the Dallas Cowboys having exploratory talks with agent Drew Rosenhaus, in regards to wide receiver Plaxico Burress. After serving 20 months in prison on a gun charge, Burress played in 2011 on a one year deal with the New York Jets. He had moderate success playing in all 16 games with 45 catches, 612 yards, and 8 TDs. Currently, Burress remains a free agent. One reason is because his asking price was too high. With preseason games starting this week, Burress is realizing that he is going to have to sign a veteran’s minimum contract if he wants to play when the season starts. This is making him a more attractive option with the Cowboys and other teams.
It is no secret that one of the weaknesses of the Dallas Cowboys going into training camp was depth at the wide receiver position. There are also question marks over the two main wide receivers in Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. Austin, who missed several games last year with hamstring injuries, had to sit out of training camp this week with the same hamstring issues. Dez Bryant, who can never stay out of the negative news spotlight, is probably one more arrest away from being kicked off of the team. With very young or unproven wide receivers behind them on the depth chart, Cowboys may feel they need to add one more impact veteran wide receiver.
When you look at Burress’ stats last year with Mark Sanchez as the Jets quarterback, it is not hard to argue that he could actually put up better numbers with the Dallas Cowboys. Plaxico knows how valuable it will be to get paired up with a talented quarterback like Tony Romo. The Cowboys would be getting a wide receiver who is willing to work his butt off for the team, to get that big contract that he has been searching for with another team next year.
One of the reasons why Dallas may choose not to sign Burress, is due to possible off the field distractions. While Burress had no off the field problems last year, he has had history of off the field issues in his past. Jerry Jones already has a big headache with Dez Bryant. Does Jones really want another potential locker room disturbance?
Another reason is that Dallas has many impressionable young wide receivers. The Cowboys may not see Burress as a possible positive role model to this group. There has been reports in the last couple of days that two of these young receivers, Cole Beasley and Andre Holmes, have started to make some plays in training camp. The Cowboys may take a wait and see approach, especially after the first preseason game, to determine if they will continue to give the young wide receivers more time to develop.
One thing seems to be certain with the Cowboys interest in Burress: the Cowboys are a little uncomfortable with their wide receiver situation.