Sept. 16, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laurent Robinson (81) in the first half of their game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. The Texans won 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Should The Cowboys Bring Back Wideout Laurent Robinson?

Nov 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laurent Robinson (81) on the sidelines against the Houston Texans in overtime at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to even imagine it now. It seems like a fictional story reserved only for the silver screen. A disgruntled and underperforming NFL wide receiver finds new life on a new team and fulfills his potential on the world’s biggest stage. But that’s exactly what happened to wideout Laurent Robinson when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. But the ending to this odyssey is a bit more murky as Robinson now sits unemployed and out of the league for over a year. His tale, once about redemption, has now become a warning for the entire NFL.

After four unproductive seasons in the league with the St. Louis Rams and the Atlanta Falcons, the latter’s third round pick in 2007 landed with a Dallas team who was already in the midst of their 2011 regular season. With wideouts Dez Bryant and Miles Austin in the fold, the Robinson signing help solidify the club’s third and fourth receiver spots. And it didn’t take very long for the Illinois State alum to prove Dallas had made a wise choice.  In just his second game as a Cowboy, Robinson recorded seven catches for 116 yards against the Detroit Lions.

Robinson would finish his Cinderella season recording 54 receptions for 858 yards and a team-leading 11 touchdowns. Since he had only signed a one-year contract with Dallas, Robinson became an unrestricted free agent after the end of the year. But due to salary cap restrictions, the Cowboys were unable to re-sign the receiver as he was looking to cash in on his breakout performance. And that’s exactly what Robinson did.

In March of 2012, Robinson signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ironically, it would be a mere year later, almost to the exact date of the signing, that he would be released from the team. Robinson played a total of seven games in Jacksonville. In that short amount of time, Robinson was allowed to suffer an astonishing four concussions. He was placed on injured reserve in late November and ultimately released in March of 2013.

This seemed to open the door for Robinson to return to Dallas. And Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones seemed open to the idea:

“Obviously, he played lights out and we tried to sign him last year and his price got more than we could handle under our cap. We’ve got to look at the big picture with Laurent. He had some (concussions) that we’re going to be doing our homework on and be going from there.”

Apparently the homework results were not good. Dallas opted to draft Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft instead. During that same offseason, Robinson tried out for seven different NFL teams. But he left all seven of them without a contract. According to inside sources, the teams’ management and coaches were simply too concerned over his previous concussion history to sign him.

That was a year ago. There is no current news about Robinson or his whereabouts. His Twitter account hasn’t been updated since October. His official website’s domain registration has now expired. Robinson is off the grid. Maybe it’s time Dallas kicked the tires on him one more time.

With the Cowboys expected to release veteran wideout Miles Austin after June 1st, Dallas will have a spot open in their wide receiver corps. Some speculate, including myself, that Dallas will address this need in the upcoming draft. But with all the issues the Cowboys defense had last year, the more picks we can dedicate solely to that side of the ball, the better. Why not bring in a receiver whom you know has chemistry with quarterback Tony Romo and can be signed for the veteran minimum? I’m not saying we should sign him on the spot, but isn’t he at least worth a look? And at that salary, considering our cap situation, isn’t it worth the risk?

Tell me what you think in the comments section below. And if Laurent is reading this, keep your chin up. You’ll always have a special place in the hearts of all true blue Cowboys fans.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Laurent Robinson Miles Austin

  • joanietorre

    Four concussions,sorry,no I wouldn’t bring him back but I would take another chance on Jesse Holley. He had chemistry with Tony too.

  • BradAustin

    I loved the chemistry Tony and Laurent had. Also the knack he had for getting open when the play breaks down. Dez picked that skill up recently and it’s paying off big for him. As much as I like the idea of signing him for the minimum with built-in production incentives, several concussions is a huge red flag. Laurent even struggled bad with injuries before Dallas. And the veteran minimum isn’t cheap with that many years accrued in the pros.

    Dumping an unreliable (overpaid) Miles to count on an unreliable Robinson in his role is unwise. You never fully heal from multiple concussions like you may with other injuries. The risk of it occurring again multiplies with each one suffered. Another one and he may quit football and we’d have lost out risky bet and ignored bolstering the position with a real answer.

    On the other hand, I’m firmly against drafting a WR in the top 3 rounds of this draft…usually where you find a guy that may help right away. The DL and safety spot need immediate real solutions that can play strong ball next year. We had plenty of offense without much from Miles last year. In 2014 Dez will be great, Williams will certainly mature and make a jump, and even Beasley and Harris should get more expanded roles and deserve it.

    I’d put finding another solid starting RG easily ahead of WR, either draft or free agency. With expanded run production we’d have enough WR’s and TE’s to do the job as is. I’d even draft a QB in the 4th or beyond over WR if someone solid to groom in this very deep QB draft fell some. This rookie crop is not loaded with WR talent like some years. And we have many more immediate concerns. I may sign a free agent to help, something along the lines of Laurent, but also someone I can trust to give me some mild production and not be a huge risk like he and Miles have been several times. .

  • Scott.

    Nope, get Williams Harris and Beasley the snaps. Take a flyer on a taller wr with decent speed later in draft if you feel wr needs to be addressed.

  • DoomsdayD

    Hey! Invite to camp, we have nothing to lose; you never know, he may surprise!

  • Ed

    I really wish I could make an argument for bringing him back but I can’t. To many concussions, to much time missed. The only thing that can be said is it would be for league minimum. Well if he shows, I’ll root for him. If he doesn’t, I’ll have the memories.

  • californy

    I dont want to draft a WR in this year draft, But JJ love the skill position.