Will Dorsett Be An Important Name To Dallas Cowboys Again?


Sep 1, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (4) runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the second quarter of play at Papa John

The last name Dorsett holds a special meaning for most fans of the Dallas Cowboys, at least if you were born anytime before 1980, or so.

Could it be possible that this name could once again hit the Dallas roster with some lightening in the coming months?

University of Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett bears no relation to former Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, but to watch him run away from people kind of makes you wonder.

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For at least a couple of reasons, there’s a chance that Cowboys Nation could be watching a Dorsett light up opponents around the NFL once again.

To start with, it sure seems much more likely now than it did just last summer that wide receiver Dez Bryant might be a short-timer with the Cowboys. This could mean a matter of weeks, months or possibly just a year.

Remember that the coming franchise tag designation for Bryant, if this indeed comes to pass, would quite possibly have the organization sitting in about the same place a year from now as it is this very moment since this decision would only guarantee one more season with America’s Team.

Also, fourth wide receiver and kickoff return specialist Dwayne Harris is an unrestricted free agent and his status is obviously in limbo as we speak. Exactly how much should the Cowboys offer him for as many as four or five more years?

I say not much more than a bottle of wine and a basket of cheese.

These circumstances could pave the way for a commodity not really seen in Dallas since the days of Raghib “Rocket” Ismail and Joey Galloway:

Pure speed.

Dorsett could be just what the doctor ordered.

Last Saturday, Dorsett ran his twin 40-yard dashes at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and posted times of 4.35 and then 4.33 seconds.

In other words, this guy can really fly.

No, it’s not a headline-making 4.24 like running back Chris Johnson posted several years ago, but we’re talking about a difference of about one-tenth of a single second separating the two – chances are great that you can’t even blink in that time frame.

Yes, there’s been a number of other players throughout NFL history that were even faster than Johnson, but the simple point here is, again, speed. It simply kills on the football field so long as it’s possessed by a true football player and not just a track star.

Dorsett is definitely a football player, as evidenced by his outstanding career with the Hurricanes. His numbers aren’t going to set records or make your eyes pop, but for this discussion it’s far from a stretch to suggest that his addition to the Dallas offense could be a true game changer sooner than later.

In addition to catching passes, Dorsett has extensive experience returning kicks, an area that could certainly use a jolt in Dallas.

Don’t get me wrong, Harris hasn’t been awful or even sub-par – in fact he’s been good, all things considered. I would fall way short of stating that Harris has been great. If we’re just comparing 40 times at the combine, Harris was clocked at 4.55 seconds in 2011.

The Dallas wide receiver situation is more uncertain than we thought.

No, owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t appear close to handing over the kind of money that Bryant is looking for. In fact, The Landry Hat’s very own John Bankston offered a near gospel last week as to why exactly Bryant isn’t worth Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson cap space – same goes for Arizona Cardinals pass catcher Larry Fitzgerald.

I couldn’t agree more.

This is not to say that Bryant will not end up with a long term pact with the Cowboys, but it’s not looking nearly as likely as it was before.

Whether it’s the lack of communication with Bryant’s new representatives from Roc Nation, owned by rapper Jay Z, or the sudden rumors of a “Ray Rice” type of video that may or may not exist, Jones appears to be approaching this standoff with a great deal of caution, and rightly so. There’s no need to rehash the numerous other indicators that clearly state that Bryant is on the “high maintenance” side of things.

So what if Bryant was suddenly elsewhere?

The Cowboys would still have Terrance Williams as a high quality receiver that I think could handle the No. 1 designation on the wide receiver depth chart.

Since Cole Beasley is not much more than a third down slot receiver, it would sure seem that a player of Dorsett’s ability could do plenty to keep opposing safeties from creeping up on the line of scrimmage to stop a rushing attack that looks to remain strong for the foreseeable future – no matter who is carrying the ball.

It’s perhaps even more likely that Harris is already gone, thus paving the way for Dorsett to either handle punts or kickoffs and to cause immediate discomfort for opposing special teams coordinators.

Dorsett would probably never be much more than a No. 2 receiver in the NFL, but considering the fact that Beasley is an unrestricted free agent following next season, it might be wise to bring that speed on board to join a receiving corps which may include Bryant and Williams after all is said and done. At the No. 3 spot, Dorsett could be a nightmare to cover out of the slot or lined up wide.

In my first mock draft for The Landry Hat coming later this week, I have Dorsett falling to Dallas in the third round.

If this ends up happening, or something similar to it, it’s an absolute steal for the Cowboys.

In closing, a fun fact: The Cowboys drafted Tony Dorsett as the second-overall selection in the 1977 draft. Dallas would advance to Super Bowl XII the following January in beating the Denver Broncos for it’s second championship.

Could nabbing Phillip Dorsett bring a little luck heading into Super Bowl 50 next February?

Next: Top 5 Cowboys 1st Round Draft Busts