Bargain shopping has turned into the Dallas Cowboys' preferred approach to free agency these last several years, but that won't be the case forever. In fact, that could change this year, which is why I decided to take a look at potential free agents who could draw interest from the Cowboys.
The Cowboys clearly have several holes that need to be addressed this offseason, and it's unlikely they can fill all those holes through the draft, even with 10 draft picks at their disposal. With so many needs, the Cowboys could become more active in free agency this year.
After the way the Dallas Cowboys' wide receivers performed in 2017, it looks like a position that could be at the top of the list to upgrade, either through the draft or free agency. Upgrading through the draft is always a crap shoot, but there are a few free agent WRs on the market who could come in and be an immediate upgrade.
WR Paul Richardson (6'0, 185, 25 years old)
Paul Richardson was selected 45th overall in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. It was rumored at the time the Dallas Cowboys had interest in him, but they ended up making a trade with the Washington Redskins to move up from 47 to 34th overall to select DeMarcus Lawrence.
Regardless of what could've been, the Cowboys now have another chance to add the former Seahawk to their receiver core, but will they?
There is reason to believe the Cowboys could still have interest in Richardson. There's no question in my mind that he would be an upgrade at the position, but Dallas is already invested pretty heavily in their current WRs. That, of course, could change once we get further into free agency.
Although talented, Richardson is a bit of an enigma.
His career never really took off like some thought, but that is mostly due to injuries setting him back. But, he was finally 100% healthy this last season (contract year), and proved he has the ability to be a weapon in the passing game.
Richardson's 2017 stats: 44 receptions, 703 receiving yards, 16.0 YPC, 6 touchdowns.
Richardson would bring an entirely different element to the Cowboys offense than what they currently have — speed (4.28 40-yd dash). But, that's not all he is as a wide receiver. He's a smooth route runner who isn't afraid to work the middle of the field. He also has strong dependable hands, a wide catch radius, and knows how to high-point the ball.
Of course, Paul Richardson comes with baggage. He has already had two ACL injuries, one in college and another one that pretty much wiped out his entire 2015 season. But this baggage could be good news for the Cowboys, regarding contract talks.
I think Richardson would be lucky to get a contract similar to what Robert Woods received from the Los Angeles Rams last offseason. Woods received a five-year $34-million contract with $10 million fully guaranteed.
Woods has been a much more productive receiver in the NFL than Richardson, and he hasn't had a problem with injuries either. That should make Richardson a more affordable free agent, which is good news for the thrifty-spending Dallas Cowboys.