Dallas Cowboys should target Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley in the 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley /

The Dallas Cowboys need a young playmaker on their receiver corps to pair with quarterback Dak Prescott. Alabama’s Calvin Ridley could be the answer.

The Dallas Cowboys current three-game losing streak has proven two things. One, running back Ezekiel Elliott is the most valuable single player on the Cowboys offense. And two, Dallas currently does not possess a wide receiver who can get consistent separation.

Therefore, as the 5-6 Cowboys appear to be nearing playoff irrelevance, the focus suddenly moves to 2018 and how Dallas can improve their roster. Adding extra insurance behind Elliott is surely one of the team’s future goals. But a more pressing need is for a playmaker at wide receiver.

Currently, the Cowboys receiver corps includes Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Brice Butler, Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown.

Bryant is one of the most target receivers in the NFL, with 102 passes thrown his way in 11 games. But Dez also posts one of the worst catch percentages in the league (52%), having reined in just 53 receptions for 578 yards and four touchdowns.

The 29-year old Bryant has suffered his share of injuries the past three seasons, and they appear to have taken their toll. The once dominate playmaker is now better suited to be a possession receiver and occasional 50/50 ball red zone threat.

Unfortunately, Bryant’s massive five-year, $70 million contract he signed back in 2015 hinders the Cowboys from signing another talented wide out via free agency. Any help Dallas acquires for their receiver corps will likely need to come from the draft.

Williams signed a team-friendly four-year, $17 million contract earlier this year. But the former third round pick still struggles with inconsistent play, doesn’t possess the speed necessary to gain separation from NFL defenders and still has issues catching the football with his hands.

Beasley exploded last season to lead the Cowboys with 75 receptions for 833 yards and five scores. Unfortunately, opposing defensive coordinators have learned how to defend against the diminutive playmaker. Beasley has only recorded 28 catches through the Cowboys first 11 games this season and has suddenly become all but irrelevant.

After having a terrific offseason, Butler has returned to his former self. The unreliable pass catcher still possess the size and speed to be a difference maker. Unfortunately, he’s never been consistent enough.

Finally, both Switzer and Brown are rookies. Ryan is slowly turning into a productive returner on special teams. While Noah is an excellent downfield blocker who could eventual develop into a quality receiver. But neither will become the playmaker the Cowboys desperately need next season.

No, the Cowboys will likely have to find their next great wide receiver in the draft. And if they are willing to use their first round selection in order to do so , than Dallas should target Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in 2018. That according to CBS Draft guru, and co-host of DallasCowboys.com’s The Draft Show, Dane Brugler.

Considered by many to be the top receiving prospect in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-1, 188 pound receiver is the explosive offensive weapon sorely missing from the Cowboys current receiver corps.

Ridley possesses all the qualities you want in a first round-level receiver. He is a tough kid who is also an excellent route runner with terrific hands, blazing speed and who is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands after the catch. Ridley is simply the total package. A perfect one-two punch to play beside someone like Bryant, who could flourish with less defensive attention focused on him.

Next: Four Cowboys that should not be back in 2018

The Dallas Cowboys made a risky move and traded up in the 2010 NFL Draft to select troubled Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant because they knew their team needed a transcendent playmaker at the position. That time has come again.