Cowboys 2014 Free Agent Needs: Wide receivers
By Matthew Postins
RattleandHumSports.com is breaking down the free agent needs at every position group for the 2014 Dallas Cowboys. Today it’s the wide receivers.
Wide receivers: Dez Bryant (starter), Terrance Williams (starter), Miles Austin (backup), Cole Beasley (backup), Dwayne Harris (backup), Micheal Spurlock (backup).
Other notable players: Jamar Newsome (signed in Week 17).
Cowboys wide receivers entering free agency: None.
Free agency need?: 4 (out of 10, 10 being most pressing).
Why: The possibility exists that the Cowboys could cut Miles Austin for salary cap purposes. That has been reported by a number of outlets but not as of yet confirmed publicly by the team. If the Cowboys decide to cut Austin, that leaves them with five wide receivers with a NFL catch entering 2014. Terrance Williams’ emergence as a rookie may be what leads the Cowboys to cut Austin, and with Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris working as the No. 3 receivers, the Cowboys would seem to be on solid footing. But, depending upon whether the Cowboys turn their backs on the two-tight end set, they may need at least one more receiver. It’s just as likely the Cowboys could address this need with a late draft pick.
Possible Targets: If the Cowboys decide to pursue a wide receiver in free agency it won’t be a high-dollar courtship. The Cowboys will look for a veteran who can be brought in on a short-term veteran contract, with perhaps some bonus money thrown in. We profiled one possible target last week in Denver’s Andre Caldwell. A veteran like a Robert Meachem, Mario Manningham or Jerricho Cotchery may have some value. Plus, a former Cowboys receiver, Kevin Ogletree, will be on the market.
Looking ahead: The feeling here is that Austin will be gone by mid-March as a June 1 roster cut. We’ll explore those ramifications in our salary cap series. If he’s gone, the Cowboys will need at least one veteran receiver to fill out the position group. Micheal Spurlock could be a part of this conversation, and as he’s a Rich Bisaccia favorite he may push to keep his former Bucs kick returner in the fold. The Cowboys had three receivers on the practice squad to end the season, but none would seem to be a factor in the future of the position group at this time.
Next up: Tight ends.