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Could The Cowboys Keep 6 Wide Receivers?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could The Cowboys Keep 6 Wide Receivers?
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Before Terrance Williams signed a new four-year contract this year, it seemed like wide receiver was a top need for the Cowboys. Fortunately, he surprised us all by staying in Dallas. Brice Butler had already signed a one year deal with the team, and the Cowboys drafted rookies Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown in the NFL Draft. So it is fair to say, things are looking good for this position in Dallas.

But, what will the WR group look like when all the roster cuts have been made? If you read my weekly Spanish series, you may have read my roster projection. In it I had six spots taken by wide receivers.

This is what it looked like:

Bryant, Williams, Beasley and Switzer are guaranteed. The first three for obvious reasons, and Ryan Switzer was a fourth round pick so it's safe to say he'll make the roster.

I don't see Lucky Whitehead making the roster though. Switzer will be this team's returner and I am sure he'll run jet sweeps if he is asked to. The only difference will be that he'll catch the ball too!

Supposing Lucky is cut, Noah Brown and Brice Butler will fight for a spot. If Noah Brown ends up being the steal a lot of scouts and analysts think he was, the Cowboys would have to decide between these two.

Butler did a decent job replacing an injured Dez Bryant as the team's "X" receiver last season, so I would argue that he is a legitimate contender for the final spot.

The Cowboys will need to decide between options A and B. Or, they could go with option C and keep both. However, going long in a certain position means going short on others.  The question becomes...

Could The Cowboys Keep Six Wide Receivers? 2

Sep 17, 2016; Norman, OK, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Noah Brown (80) cannot make a catch as Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Jordan Thomas (7) defends during the second half at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Where will the sixth spot come from?

Here are the three most likely options, in my opinion.

Tight end: Instead of carrying four tight ends, it is likely to see the team going ahead with just three. Who will back up veteran Jason Witten? The Cowboys seem to be confident in Rico Gathers seeing the field this year and Geoff Swaim did a good job before suffering an injury last season.

Then there's James Hanna, who was never active during the 2016 season. Besides, he wouldn't be a tough cut to make. I wouldn't be surprised if the team moves on with just three TEs and says goodbye to Hanna.

Could The Cowboys Keep Six Wide Receivers?

Offensive line: There is no doubt that the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is the strongest unit on the team. They'll probably keep nine offensive linemen when the season begins. But, with La'el Collins getting some snaps at right tackle, it is possible they decide to go short here; carry eight players instead of nine.

If Collins starts at RT, that would likely mean Jonathan Cooper starts at left guard, meaning that Chaz Green and Emmett Cleary would be on the bench.

Byron Bell would have a tough task in front of him to earn a roster spot if this is the case. If he is cut, there's a higher chance of seeing both Noah Brown and Brice Butler wear the Star this year.

Could The Cowboys Keep Six Wide Receivers? 1

Linebacker: This is probably the least probable of the three. Suppose Jaylon Smith's health is better than good and the Cowboys can confidently count on him to play without a problem. If this is the case I can see the Cowboys going short at LB with just six guys.

It all hinges on Smith to try to determine how the linebacker group will look next season, but I'll take the optimistic route for now.

Would you like to see both Butler and Brown on the team next season?

Let us know in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly  live show Primero Cowboys!

Tell me what you think about "Could The Cowboys Keep 6 Wide Receivers?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Donny Cook

    May 16, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I think Noah Brown takes over for Butlar and Butlar is cut, Butlar missed very catch able balls, and those are just inexcusable

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      May 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      That would make sense, of course. If Noah Brown stays Butler is gone.

  2. Randy Martin

    May 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I’m sorry Mauricio but saying Butler did a decent job replacing Dez Bryant is a joke! I am tired of people trying to defend Butler. In the last two seasons he has caught 28 balls on 60 targets. By no standard is that decent. It is a cuttable number. He has concentration lapses, and poor hands. He looks good on the hoof and has great size and speed but in 4 years in the NFL we still talk about his potential. I’m not saying he is going to wash out of the league but I feel almost certain Noah Brown can eclipse that. Please, please give Butler his pink slip!

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      May 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Hey Randy! Dropped passes was of course his biggest issue. And while I understand he is very cuttable, he did do a better job than 83 in 2015, at least in my opinion. I like T-Will of course, but not as an X receiver.
      While he is not good, he may be the only backup able to be an X receiver, even if he is not a good one.

      • Randy Martin

        May 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        I am certainly not an advocate of T-Will either but he is better than Butler. in 2015, Twill caught 52 of 93 targets for 56% and 3 TD’s. In 2015, Butler caught 12 of 26 for 46% and no TD’s. There is nothing about those numbers that says he is better than Twill. And the contract Twill got over Butler clearly shows the FO likes Twill better. In two seasons in Oakland when they were starving to find receivers, Butler could not win a job and they had nobody at that time. Honestly there is no argument for keeping Butler that has merit other than he is a good team guy. I like him personally but would like him better on somebody else’s team!

  3. Travis Diggs

    May 16, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    You don’t carry 6 Receivers just to do it. Brown and Switzer were drafted to replace Whitehead and Butler You carry 5 as usual and keep Andy Jones on the practice squad unless he does something spectacular in preseason

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      May 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      If they carry the six it wouldn’t be “just do it” though. Let’s not forget that, even if he is thought of as a steal, Brown is still a seventh round pick. Even though I don’t think it is the most probable thing to happen, it’s still an interesting outcome to think about. I wouldn’t mind keeping the five as you say though, that is very likely to happen. Let’s hope Brown is a steal.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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