When the Cowboys selected wide receiver Ceedee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they hoped he would become their number one receiver. What they probably didn't expect is how quickly it might happen. As Dallas sits in one of the league's worst salary cap situations, sacrifices must be made. Unfortunately, these could come in the form of Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper.
In the case of Gallup, it feels almost inevitable that he plays elsewhere in 2022. Considered one of the best free-agent wide receivers available, the Cowboys do not have the cap space to compete for his services on the open market. For Amari Cooper, he is currently the highest-paid receiver in the league in terms of annual value. While Davante Adams will eventually top this, it is still a startling number. As such, Dallas could certainly look to trade him so they can escape their dire salary cap situation.
If this all transpires, the Cowboys will be hurting for wide receivers. Especially since wideout Cedrick Wilson is a free agent as well. While Lamb is a terrific wide receiver and fully capable of being a number one receiver, “Americas Team” could look to add some speed to their offense. This is where Sammy Watkins comes in.
Adding a new dimension (for cheap)
As mentioned, Lamb, Cooper, and Gallup are all great receivers who play different roles in an offense. However, none of them would be considered “burners” who can attack defenses downfield. This speed element was absent from the offense last season and can be added in the form of Sammy Watkins.
Since being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins's career has unfortunately become known for injuries. In fact, he has not played in a full season since his rookie year. However, the Dallas front office clearly does not care about this as they made Watkins an offer in the 2018 off-season before he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, this will work in their favor. With the salary cap situation the way it is, the team will be forced to find bargains at the position. Playing on a one-year, $5,000,000 contract with the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, that number will only go down after a season where he struggled. Watkins started nine games for Baltimore last season and posted 394 yards and one touchdown. Hardly breathtaking numbers but the fit matters and he never seemed to fit in their offense.
Despite this, Watkins ran a 4.43 40 yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Of course, the injuries may have taken some of that quickness from him but it is evident he can still move. This would give the Cowboys speed at the receiver position that would compliment the rest of the receiver room quite well.
WEEK 1 SAMMY WATKINS
— PFF (@PFF) September 14, 2021
While moving forward without Cooper and Gallup would be difficult, it may end up being a reality. This would bring an end to one of the best receiving corps in the league. As such, they will have to find ways to compliment the skill set of Lamb. Watkins and his downfield speed could be a great fit.