The Dallas Cowboys released veteran wide receiver Miles Austin last week as they designated him a June 1st cut. His departure will open up $5.5 million in cap space. An amount expected to be used by the team to sign their rookies from May’s upcoming NFL Draft. Austin’s absence also leaves a void on the Cowboys wideout depth chart. But executive vice president of the Cowboys, Stephen Jones, doesn’t think the position is a pressing issue in Dallas. Here’s what he told 105.3 The Fan’s Ben and Skin Show during a radio interview on Friday when asked if he sees wideout as a big need:
“I do not. We were very pleased with Terrance. As you know, Miles — his play time was limited last year once again, because of injuries. I thought, this time, guys stepped up. We played solid offensive football. Guys like Terrance Williams, (Gavin) Escobar and Cole Beasley are only going to get better. So I don’t see that as big an issue as a lot of people might think it is for us.”
It is assumed Williams will take the starting role along side Dez Bryant. But it is that third wide receiver position that is the issue. The aforementioned Beasley would the be the ideal candidate but his 5’8 frame limits his effectiveness. Third year veteran wide out Dwayne Harris is also another option. But Harris has regressed as a receiver in the past year and is now more of a special teams ace. The only other option currently on the roster is Tim Benford, who has been on the Cowboys practice squad for the last two years.
Although receiver may not be a pressing need, according to the Cowboys front office, it is still a need. I’d expect Dallas to bring in a few undrafted rookie free agents to compete for the spot left by Austin this offseason. Besides, that’s exactly how they found Miles in the first place.