The Dallas Cowboys offense has been very potent when healthy, but have they found another weapon that is very unexpected?
The Dallas Cowboys have not been short of playmakers in recent years. Wide receiver Dez Bryant can spread out the field with his speed and win jump balls with his physicality. His fellow receivers Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley are perfect compliments as Williams has deep threat ability and Beasley has a knack for finding open space.
Now the Cowboys add even more wide receiver depth and playmaking ability with the selection of fourth round pick Ryan Switzer. The shifty player from North Carolina finished the 2016 season with 96 receptions, 1,117 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
Finding a spot on the field with the Cowboys within a crowded wide receiver corps could be tough. Williams recently re-signed this offseason and both Beasley and Bryant are in the middle of multi-year contracts. Overtaking any of the three seems unlikely, but if Switzer turns enough heads and shows some special talents he could see some significant playing time.
Switzer’s accomplishments don’t stop there. During his career at UNC he finished with seven punt returns for touchdowns, leading the nation with five as a freshman. During the same time frame of four years, the Cowboys only returned one punt for a touchdown in the NFL.
Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead, who handled most of the punt return duties last year, failed to reach the end zone. The last punt return for a touchdown for the Cowboys was in 2013, Switzer’s freshman year at UNC. That was by current New York Giants’ receiver Dwayne Harris. The Cowboys could definitely use a boost in punt return specialties.
Switzer is the ultimate triple threat, also playing running back in high school. While there he was named West Virginia Gatorade High School Player of the Year, twice. He finished his senior season with 2,379 yards and 32 touchdowns. With the departure of running back Lance Dunbar via free agency, a third down running back or receiving back could also be in Switzer’s skill set.
I would be lying to you if I said I was initially excited about the draft pick, especially since Michigan tight end Jake Butt was still on the board in the late fourth round. A little research and a “back flip video” later and my mind is changed. And I’m in football love.
Switzer has the ability to be an outstanding slot receiver, like those of former New England Patriot wide receiver Wes Welker or current Cowboy Beasley. That doesn’t include his return skills that may rival former Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester. With those skills alone he’s a dangerous player. But there is also the possibility of coming out of the back field, possibly like that of a Dunbar.
Comparisons of Switzer and Beasley seem to be unfair to place on the fourth round draft pick. Switzer is more of a Beasley, Whitehead and Dunbar combined in his 5-foot-8, 181 pound frame. He might just be the three-headed monster combined into one player.
There is huge potential for Ryan Switzer and I’m sure the Dallas Cowboys have even bigger plans for the rookie this coming year.