Wide receivers: 6
Projected backup: Ryan Switzer
The Dallas Cowboys have an underrated group of wide receivers that I expect to have a huge year as part of a balanced offensive attack.
Dez Bryant looks like he is in the best shape of his life right now and had a fully healthy offseason where he has been able to push himself. If Dez is there in the second round of your fantasy draft, take him and don’t think twice because he is primed for a 2014 type of year with Dak and him getting a full offseason to build chemistry.
Terrance Williams signed an extremely team friendly contract as a free agent this spring, definitely a home town discount. Williams has a knack for making clutch plays throughout tough games. He has deceptive long speed that builds as he gets downfield and always seems to be open. T-Will also works hard as a run blocker.
Beasley is coming off a career year in 2016 and I expect him to continue being an inside weapon as a slot receiver that can get open anytime he wants and makes dependable plays. He doesn’t wow you as a playmaker after the catch but he is a third down converting machine.
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Ryan Switzer is a dynamic talent that has a running back frame and polished wide receiver routes. I could see Switzer finding a niche as a receiver that can run gadget plays and jet sweeps. It will be interesting if he can be an “impact role player” where he makes the most of his opportunities on offense each game with plenty of upside to develop further. He has great instincts with the ball in his hands and could become a weapon as a return man before making a major offensive impact.
Butler signed a very cheap veteran deal to come back to the Cowboys. Butler did a great job of taking advantage of his opportunities in 2016 and made several impact catches early in the season. Butler has great size and has more long speed than any receiver on the roster. He will have to prove he can be a vertical threat in camp and during preseason action to earn that fifth or sixth spot.
Andy Jones spent the 2016 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. Jones has the ideal frame to be a good outside receiver and he has the type of ball skills that would make him a solid backup X receiver. He will have to really impress and prove that he has improved too much to let go which will push someone else out of the door.
Lucky Whitehead has been a primary returner and a gadget receiver, running jet sweeps a couple of times a game. He is extremely limited from a size standpoint and hasn’t proven to be effective as a route runner. Switzer getting drafted is certainly a sign that Lucky is expendable to the coaching staff so he will have to really perform well to make the final roster.
Next, let’s talk about the tight ends…