The Dallas Cowboys receiving corps looked good Saturday night…real good. Starting quarterback Tony Romo completed for 198 yards, and that was just in the first quarter. Backups Kyle Orton and Stephen Mcgee contributed 99 and 52 yards, respectively. All bringing the Cowboys total to a very impressive 333 receiving yards in just three quarters of football.
What makes this statistic all the more incredible is that it occurred without any of the team’s starting receivers setting foot on the field.
With Dez Bryant recovering from patella tendinitis, Miles Austin nursing a hamstring injury and Jason Witten with a lacerated spleen, the Cowboys third preseason game wasn’t shaping up to be an impressive offensive outing. The positive, it seemed, was that we would have the opportunity to better assess the much debated third receiver position, giving the crop of contenders a primetime chance to perform with the starting squad.
Much of what I had heard coming out of the cowboys camp suggested that the undrafted 4th year Cowboy Kevin Ogletree had all but locked up the spot, although that’s possibly changed after Dwayne Harris took the field Saturday night.
6th round draft pick and 2nd year Cowboy Dwayne Harris caught 3 passes for 2 touchdowns and 118 yards against the St. Louis Rams; a team ranked 7th in the league in receiving yards allowed last year, averaging just 206 yards a game. More impressive is the manner in which he accumulated those yards, displaying great ability and determination.
Harris’ first touchdown came on a 61 yard strike from Tony Romo with 6:19 left in the 1st quarter, outrunning double coverage and catching the ball in stride. For his 2nd score just under six minutes later Harris caught a 15 yard pass and turned up field, dropping his shoulder and barreling through two defenders, continuing along the sideline for the end zone. Harris’ 3rd reception of the night was a 19 yard catch and run across the middle, bouncing through the defense and diving for the first down.
This wasn’t Dwayne Harris’ first game over a hundred yards. The former East Carolina receiver accumulated a staggering 101 receptions for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior year alone, but admitted that he lacked the focus to bring it all together his rookie NFL season.
Not to be ignored, Ogletree had 5 receptions for 75 yards, followed by Beasley with 3 catches for 40, and the freakishly athletic Hanna with 2 grabs for 37 yards.
With this much talent emerging you can only hope the Dallas Cowboys can find a spot for them all on the 53 man roster. Raising the question, is it possible for one team to have too many good receivers?