Dallas Cowboys Should Test Free Agency At Wide Receiver


Allow me to run a couple of stat lines by you real quick. The I would like you to ask yourselves, with no names attached, how much would you be willing to pay a player accumulating these numbers:

91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns.

88 receptions for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns.

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I have a hard time thinking that many people would be willing to say the guy with three less receptions, 33 more yards and four more touchdowns is worth $5 to $6 million more per season. Yet once we attach names, that seems to be exactly what happens.

Randall Cobb, the owner of the first stat line, has been a solid receiver ever since being picked by the Green Bay Packers after a good career at the University of Kentucky. Cobb has been a special teamer, a slot receiver, a running back, an outside receiver and even offered to hold for field goals as a rookie when he was behind wide receivers Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver and James Jones.

Cobb was desperate to show his worth and willing to prove he could do any job on the field. In fact, he has done about every job, even playing some quarterback for UK in college. His selfless approach to the game was praised in a 2011 article by Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

“That’s a far cry from the give-me-the-ball mentality found in some NFL circles. He appears to be the kind of player every coach dreams of having.”- Mike Vandermause

Randall is also a great person off the field. He is outspoken about his Christianity and leads a quiet life. In the NFL offseason his name has never surfaced in any scandal or run-in’s with the law. During the year he has never been accused of being a distraction. There is also no rumor of a video of Cobb doing anything wrong.

Cobb has climbed through the ranks, overcome a torn ACL in 2013 and in the end turned in to one of the best wide receivers in the league. After all his success reports are the 24 year old wants something in the range of $9 million per year.

In my opinion, this is market value and Cobb understands that. He knows that two desperate franchises (Arizona and Detroit) overpaid for wide outs Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. He understands the folly of these franchises does not mean he should break the back of the salary cap for whichever team he signs with.

Conversely, Dez Bryant, owner of the second stat line, has reportedly turned down a ten year $114 million deal. No team paying that kind of money to a receiver has ever made a dent in the NFL playoffs. The last time Arizona was a threat, Fitzgerald had not yet inked his outrageous deal. Oh, and they also had former league MVP and Super Bowl winning quarterback Kurt Warner. He helped them some.

While many can defend Bryant’s sideline yelling as encouragement, Dez has recently taken to twitter to blast the team since he is not getting his way in contract talks.

Yet, Dez is the one who fired Eugene Parker when things got close to being finalized. Dez is the one who brought in “99 Problems” (and apparently his contract ain’t one). Dez is the one who took out a respected NFL guy in Parker and replaced him with Jay-Z, Roc Nation and the “brand” builders.

The Dallas Cowboys should be applauded for not becoming desperate like these other teams have. They are making the correct move and telling Dez, if you don’t want this deal we will franchise tag you. Somehow to Bryant $13 million or so guaranteed is an insult. Yet calling his team out on twitter, switching agencies to a group who puts money above all and attempting to place the team in salary cap hell is ok.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones has been shrewd in his moves lately (I think he has taken most of the control from his father ever since the cutting of wide receiver Terrell Owens). This is another example of that. By not giving Dez what he wants, the team has seen the true colors of their top wide out. They can see when adversity hits, Dez blames others and sees no fault of his own.

So while most people are clamoring for Dallas to pay Dez whatever he wants regardless of the consequences, Jones is playing his cards right. Because let’s be honest, those same people claiming Dez deserves the world will freak out in four years when the team cannot afford to re-sign center Travis Frederick and guard Zack Martin. Those same people will be blaming the Jones family when Dez is out there yelling as the team finishes 8-8.

The offensive line is the strength of this team. When the line was bad, Dez did not bring wins on his own. With that fact, I would much rather take my chances on trying to get a reliable guy like Randall Cobb, and still have enough money to get another starter or possibly two for what Dez is demanding.

Sometimes teams have to let talent leave. The ones willing to do so, are usually the ones in the big games come season’s end. The ones who don’t let people leave usually have no playoff wins. Sorry Detroit, but at least you have Calvin.

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