As unlikely as it may be that the Dallas Cowboys will have a whole lot of turnover at the wide receiver position in the 2020 offseason, the front office will need to explore the wide receiver market with Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb impending free agents. Though Amari Cooper should return, it still remains to be seen if he or Cobb will for sure be back.
The Cowboys front office and scouting department will do their due diligence to see what their options are when free agency opens on March 18th. With that said, let’s take a look at the top three free-agent wide receiver options for the Cowboys heading into the 2020 offseason.
As Inside The Star Staff Writer Kevin Brady writes, wide receiver is a quiet positional need for the Dallas Cowboys.
1. Robby Anderson, New York Jets
The Dallas Cowboys found out about the ability of Robby Anderson in a heartbeat during their week six loss to the New York Jets.
With 3:46 remaining in the second quarter and the Jets at their own eight-yard line, New York Quarterback Sam Darnold hit Anderson down the middle of the field for what turned into a 92-yard touchdown reception. On the play, Chidobe Awuzie and Jeff Heath couldn’t hang with Anderson’s deep speed and were run by.
Anderson has an element that would really put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses if added to the Cowboys offense. With teams looking to add more speed players like Tyreek Hill and Marquise Brown, Anderson will be highly sought after this offseason.
Because of his deep ball specialty, he hasn’t had more than 63 receptions in a season, but he’s also never had fewer than 42, which happened during his rookie season. He’s averaged 14.8 yards per reception for his 62 game career in which he’s only missed two games.
Anderson ranked sixth in the NFL in targets beyond 20 yards downfield and didn’t drop a single target down the field. At 6-3 190 pounds, Anderson provides a nice size and speed combination that the Cowboys don’t have.
If the Cowboys decided to move on from Amari Cooper or Randall Cobb, Dallas could add Anderson to play on the outside.
2. AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals
It’s unlikely the Dallas Cowboys would go into free agency looking to add someone who may cost as much as A.J. Green, but given he sat out the 2019 season because of injury, he could be had at a discounted rate.
For his career, Green has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He’s one of the reasons that Andy Dalton has been able to have the career he’s had to this point. When Green wasn’t available, Dalton had arguably his worst season in the NFL.
Green’s ability to win at every level will get him a job with someone and he’ll have his choice of teams to go to. If the Cowboys decide to move on from Cooper, Green is the one player that could be in free agency that is a legit lead wide receiver.
Obviously, there’s a risk with taking on a 32-year old wide receiver who’s dealt with injuries over the last several years.
3. Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Breshad Perriman’s career hasn’t really gone according to plan since being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens 26th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He missed his rookie season due to injury and didn’t really produce to the level expected of a first-round draft pick.
Though the Buccaneers were his third team in four seasons, Perriman had the best season of his career with 69 targets, 36 receptions, 645 receiving yards, and six touchdowns while averaging 17.6 yards per reception filling in for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin during the season.
Perriman had the 10th most receptions on targets that traveled more than 20 yards in 2019. Those 11 receptions came on 12 catchable passes and had the highest deep ball percentage of any player that saw at least 19 targets of 20 or more yards.
Like Anderson and Green, Perriman offers a lot of size and athleticism as well as a deep ball ability that fits in well with Kellen Moore’s vertical passing game.
Dez Bryant, Free Agent
Until it doesn’t happen, the speculation is going to run rampant about Dez Bryant returning to the Cowboys. Per Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated’s Cowboys Maven, Bryant has reached out to Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones about the possibility of returning to the Cowboys.
Bryant likely wouldn’t come back as anything more than a fourth wide receiver for the Cowboys, but in that role, he’d be excellent in the Cowboys 11 and 10 personnel groupings. He may not be the athlete that he once was, but he’s still a physical specimen.
Under the right circumstances, Dez could be an excellent depth addition to the Cowboys 2020 roster.
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The Dallas Cowboys may not need to add anything more than a depth player, but if the Cowboys actually decide to allow Amari Cooper walk then these three players are the best options in free agency to fit what the Dallas Cowboys want to do in the passing game.
Of course a lot can change between now and when free agency opens and I fully anticipate Amari Cooper returning and most likely Randall Cobb due to his relationship with new head coach Mike McCarthy. However, if the Cowboys only retain one of Cooper or Cobb, there are options in free agency to remain a dynamic offense moving forward.