Dallas Cowboys roster breakdown: The competition at wide receiver


Assuming second-year player Devin Street continues his progression and is the number four go-to wide receiver on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster in September, the open fifth spot on the recevier depth chart has left the Cowboys with a lot of questions and possibilities.

Following wide recevier Dwayne Harris’ departure to the New York Giants this offseason via free agency, his contributions in kick coverage and the return game might have been underestimated. Although Harris wasn’t always flashy as a sole wide out, he was a very good blocker. The Cowboys did not draft a recevier in this year’s draft, but made sure to take a chance on a few undrafted players who could possibly be his replacement.

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Former USC receiver George Farmer is one of those guys. He was actually among the Cowboys’ top 30 visits before the draft. Farmer has great body control and very gifted hands.

Nick Harwell from Kansas is another. Harwell actually spent his first three years of college at Miami of Ohio, and set a few single game records there. Great route running comes natural to him. Another plus for Harwell is that he could also be utilized playing special teams.

The favorite, as of now, to replace Harris is undrafted recevier Lucky Whitehead. His speed is scary and he can line up in the slot too. Lucky also has some experience as a returner when he was at Florida Atlantic. He has the vision to be that player you can rely on as a punt or kick returner.

When asked about the competition at the position, Whitehead told this to ESPN.com last month:

"“I’d seen that Dwayne Harris went to the Giants, he was a huge role in their return game and I’m pretty nice at returning. That’s one of my specialties, so I figured I could come here with an opportunity to earn that spot.”"

During OTA’s and minicamp practices, the Cowboys worked wide receiver Cole Beasley, running back Darren McFadden, and a few other guys in and out to return kicks. So, ultimately that is another spot with some competition.

It helps the team if you can contribute in many different ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the newer players was called upon to be that guy.

Baylor’s Antwan Goodley and Houston’s Deontay Greenberry were also two undrafted receivers the Cowboys brought in. Both work well in the open field and run very crisp routes.

Despite none of the above being drafted, they were all looked at by the Cowboys in the later rounds. Perhaps, one of these players could be a steal.

The Cowboys also already have two veteran receivers that are competing for the job too. Reggie Dunn, who signed with the team in September of last year. As well as A.J. Jenkins, a former first-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

Dunn has been on and off the practice squad for a few teams already, but has only been in the league since 2013. He also has a lot of experience as a returner like the players he is competing with. In fact, he set two NCAA records as a returner in college. One, for kickoff returns for scores in a season (four), and the other for most 100-yard kickoff returns for a touchdown in a career (five).

Jenkins was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs after just one-year with the San Francisco 49ers. He played two seasons with the Chiefs and only caught seventeen passes during that time. He was released this past February by Kansas City and was later signed by Dallas in May.

To make room for Jenkins, the Cowboys waived injured wide out Chris Boyd. Boyd was signed as an undrafted free agent last spring. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett has taken chances like this before, bringing in underperforming players with first round talent and a lot of upside and potential.

Players like that now have the opportunity to somewhat reinvent their career. Dallas is perfect for any player looking to do that with the resources this organization has and under it’s veteran leadership. Perhaps the Cowboys can bring out the best in Jenkins.

Whoever gets that final roster spot will probably be the most versatile and most consistent recevier throughout the process. We will also probably have a better idea of who that guy is after training camp starts in just a little over two weeks.

Next: Will Barry Church get squeezed out of the defense?