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Dallas Cowboys 2020 Offseason Preview: Wide Receiver

While 's is the story of the Cowboys' 2020 , 's is right behind him. Throw in and other concerns on the and wide receiver is a major concern in Dallas for the next few months.

As you can see from the following list, the Cowboys will need to put in some work to field a capable WR group next season.

2020 Wide Receiver Contract Statuses

UFA = Unrestricted

Three Dallas' four most experienced receivers are free agents. And while not seen as a vital piece on these days, Tavon Austin has been the primary the last two seasons.

Of course, everything starts with Amari Cooper. It was his arrival in 2018 that sparked a turnaround on offense and got the Cowboys into the playoffs. Last year he battled through and still made it to the ; his value to the team is clear.

The question on Cooper is if Dallas will pursue a long-term contract or use the to retain him. Which method they go with depends heavily on how things go with Prescott, plus the contract talks with CB .

After spending a 1st-round pick to acquire Amari in 2018 it would be a tough blow to lose him now. That is especially true given the 2020 class; no WR available has Cooper's mix of youth and proven performance. The Cowboys couldn't replace him this year if they wanted to.

Randall Cobb
WR Randall Cobb

If bringing back Cooper wasn't a big enough issue, Randall Cobb is also a free agent. He proved his value on the one-year deal he signed with Dallas in 2019 and would be a tough loss.

Of course, the change at is a major x-factor in Cobb's future. Randall played eight seasons for in Green Bay and it's assumed that his old coach will want him back even more than would have.

Making the decision easier is the lack of depth on the WR depth chart. No current options have proven they're ready to move up into a major role on offense.

The best of the bunch are prospects Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson, but injuries have prevented both from establishing themselves in Dallas. They have potential but the number-three WR is basically a starting position; the Cowboys can't trust these young players with that much responsibility.

There is a thought that Dallas could use one of their premium draft picks at WR in 2020. Adding someone with a 2nd or 3rd-round pick would save money from what Cobb deserves in a new deal.

With Cooper's contract situation and the need to pay Gallup in a couple of years, finding a cheaper third receiver has some strategic value.

That said, Randall Cobb was able to provide immediate production and should be favored by the new head coach. I wouldn't expect him to leave.

Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018
Dallas Cowboys WR Tavon Austin

On the other hand, I highly doubt that Tavon Austin returns to Dallas in 2020. His intriguing physical skills just don't show up in games, and whether that's his fault or the coaches is unlikely to matter at this point.

Especially hurting Austin's chances is how has emerged on offense. He's the new versatile weapon, leaving Tavon to being little more than a backup and return man.

There is one factor which could save Austin, though. The new Coordinator in Dallas is , and he held the same job with the Rams for Tavon's entire career there.

That relationship could go either way. Fassel will likely have a major voice in Austin's future with the Cowboys, but keep in mind that he was part of the staff that was willing to let him go. Fassel may want to look in another direction this time, too.

All together, the safest bet is that Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb get re-signed while Tavon Austin is allowed walk. That gives Dallas a great top three on the WR chart and then flexibility in the 2020 .

At that point, the Cowboys could draft a depth and developmental player in the middle rounds. However, they could also decide to let guys like Brown, Wilson, and Devin Smith compete and then worry about adding more talent next year.

But of course, the ripple effect starts with Amari Cooper. We'll see how quickly the Cowboys settle things with their franchise receiver and then the impact it has on the rest of their offseason business.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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