The Dallas Cowboys have their dominate wide receiver for the future in Dez Bryant. Beyond him, the question marks begin to swirl about who exactly will be on this team in the next couple of seasons. And with a young talent like the Cleveland Browns’ wideout Josh Gordon on the trade market, could the Cowboys be in play to add another great young receiver to the mix?
First, let’s look at the Cowboys wide receiver corps behind Bryant. Veteran wideout Miles Austin is scheduled to make just north of $23 million in the next three seasons. It is unlikely the Cowboys want to pay him that much for the foreseeable future. That either means a trade, a release or more than likely a restructuring of his contract very similar to what they did with tackle Doug Free earlier this year. There is always the possibility Austin might not be on this roster next year due to his salary. I’m just not sure how much trade value he has due to his history of hamstring injuries.
Next on the depth chart is the rookie out of Baylor, Terrance Williams. The Cowboys seemed ecstatic to land the 2012 NCAA leader in receiving yards in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft. After a modest off-season, a concussion he sustained early in the preseason, and a number of dropped passes, I think the shine on this young man has dimmed a bit around Valley Ranch. There is little doubt Williams has potential, but he seems to be struggling with his confidence. I’m not sure he’s coming around as fast as the Cowboys organization hoped he would. Many expect Williams to replace Austin on the depth chart this season. I think we can safely say, after three regular season games, that is highly doubtful.
Currently fourth on the depth chart and the Cowboy primary punt returner is Dwayne Harris. The young wideout from East Carolina signed a very modest contract that lasts until the end of 2014. The Week One NFC Special Teams Player of the Week has done little on the offensive side of the ball. In three games, Harris has recorded four receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s blowout win over the St. Louis Rams. That score was his only target of the game.
Wideout Cole Beasley rounds out this current receiver depth chart. The 5’8 undrafted receiver from SMU impressed many fans last season with 15 receptions for 128 yards. In the preseason, Beasley had three receptions for 49 yards and a score against the Oakland Raiders. That performance probably kept him off the practice squad. Beasley doesn’t have a ton of versatility as he is strictly a slot receiver, but he also backs-up Harris on punt return duty.
Now, let’s talk about Josh Gordon…