Dallas Cowboys: Why sign speedy wide receivers now?

The Dallas Cowboys signed two speedy receivers to futures contracts recently. The Cowboys obviously need speed at the position but why sign them now?

It’s widely known that the Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of a receiver that has the ability to take the top off a defense. Unfortunately, they haven’t had one over the past few years and it has hurt the offense considerably. The Cowboys have recently signed wide receivers Devin Smith who has 4.4 speed and Reggie Davis with 4.3 speed. But why sign them now?

The answer might have to deal with their soon to be free agent receiver Tavon Austin. Along with the severe injury, sustained by receiver Allen Hurns late last season. One could assume that the Dallas Cowboys feel like they will lose Austin in free agency, while Hurn’s injury will be handled delicately.

If Tavon Austin leaves in free agency then Davis would be able to handle kickoffs and punt returners as Austin has in the past while sprinkling in plays on offense. Devin Smith would be a replacement for Allen Hurn’s or just be a camp body until Hurn’s is healthy enough to return to the field. Both would be capable of filling those roles if necessary.

Another possibility could be there is a change coming in their offensive philosophy. The Cowboys in the past have been reluctant to take shots down the field under former offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore could be looking to change that history and is getting an early start grabbing speedy receivers.

During his time at Georgia, Davis caught 38 passes for 618 yards and two touchdowns but the stat that really stands out is his 16.3 yards per catch average. That’s better than Cowboy receivers Cole Beasley (10.3) and Amari Cooper (13.4) had this season. Smith came into the NFL with the Jets but wasn’t able to get anything going after two ACL tears.

During his time in college though Smith caught 121 passes for 2,503 yards and 30 touchdowns. All very impressive stats but again what stands out is his 20.7 yards per catch average. Both players have the ability to attack safeties deep and the Cowboys could be looking to do just that.