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Is Lucky Whitehead’s Roster Spot Secure?

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure?

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Is Lucky Whitehead’s Roster Spot Secure?

A month ago, I wrote an article about whether or not an expanded role was in the future for Lucky Whitehead, and now I’m questioning if there will even be a roster spot available for Whitehead once the final cuts are made. Don’t get me wrong, Lucky Whitehead has an intriguing skill set that could be used in several different ways for an offensive coordinator as creative as Scott Linehan, but he’s facing some stiff competition at the wide receiver position. In 2015, Whitehead was mostly utilized on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. Toward the end of the season he started to get more time on offense in the Lance Dunbar type of role. They used Lucky Whitehead on jet sweeps and as a receiver out of the backfield the same way they used Dunbar before his injury.

A month ago, I wrote an article about whether or not an expanded role was in the future for Lucky Whitehead, and now I’m questioning if there will even be a roster spot available for Whitehead once the final cuts are made.

Don’t get me wrong, Lucky Whitehead has an intriguing skill set that could be used in several different ways for an offensive coordinator as creative as Scott Linehan, but he’s facing some stiff competition at the wide receiver position.

In 2015, Whitehead was mostly utilized on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. Toward the end of the season he started to get more time on offense in the Lance Dunbar type of role. They used Lucky Whitehead on jet sweeps and as a receiver out of the backfield the same way they used Dunbar before his injury.

If that’s the same type of role Whitehead will have in the upcoming season, I have a hard time believing that he is worthy of a roster spot when they are so valuable.

Lucky Whitehead is only 5’8″ and somewhere around 180 pounds, so that really limits what he can do offensively for the Dallas Cowboys.

We all know that there is no way Lucky Whitehead will ever be able to beat out Cole Beasley as the Cowboys’ slot receiver. Not only has Beasley developed really good chemistry with Tony Romo, but he’s just a better wide receiver than Whitehead. And because of his size, Whitehead isn’t really an option at outside receiver either. So can you justify one of those valuable roster spots going to a player that is mainly going to be used as a returner on special teams?

I know as I sit here right now, I can’t say for certain that Lucky Whitehead will make the team after training camp. There are new rule changes on kickoffs in 2016 that will impact whether or not teams decide to carry a kick returner, and no one really knows how teams will approach that change.

Not only that, but if you’ve been paying attention to the news coming out of recent OTAs and the mini-camp, there are other wide receivers making plays and they might just make Lucky Whitehead expendable.

Is Vince Mayle a Threat to Lucky Whitehead?

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure? 1

(G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

Second-year wide receiver Vince Mayle has been mentioned a time or two for making plays. At 6’2″ and 224 pounds, Mayle has a size that the Cowboys seem to like in their wide receivers, and he could provide valuable depth if someone was to go down with an injury.

Vince Mayle was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, but was ultimately one of their final roster cuts when they were getting down to their final 53 man roster.

He spent nearly the entire year on the Cowboys’ practice squad, but their patience with his development may very well pay off, and that could mean bad news for Lucky Whitehead.

Is Andy Jones a Threat to Lucky Whitehead?

Undrafted rookie wide receiver Andy Jones has also opened a lot of eyes during these unpadded practices. Jones has even been given the opportunity to practice with the first team unit, something that can’t be discounted considering he’s working with Tony Romo.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lucky Whitehead's Roster Spot Secure? 2

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Like Mayle, Andy Jones (6’2″, 214) has a size advantage over Lucky Whitehead and the fact that he’s already been given reps with the first team offense doesn’t really bode well for Whitehead’s chances to make the team.

Jones was one of the Cowboys’ 14 undrafted free agents, and received the highest signing bonus ($15,000) of any of the UFAs.

With Dez Bryant a no-brainer to make the team, along with Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and probably Brice Butler rounding out the top four wide receivers, Lucky Whitehead and the rest of the WRs are battling for that #5 spot. Personally, I don’t see the Cowboys carrying more than five receivers on the 53 man roster, especially considering how thin the defensive line is to start the season.

If Lucky Whitehead wants to remain on the Cowboys roster in 2016, he is going to have to start proving to the coaching staff that he is worth keeping around. That he is able to contribute more on offense than other wide receivers.

Again, I have nothing against Lucky Whitehead, but with the receiver position as deep as it has been in recent memory, it’s going to be an interesting position to keep track of once training camp gets underway.

Do you think Lucky Whitehead remains a Cowboy in 2016?

Please use the comment section below, because I would love to hear your feedback and discuss this topic further.

Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

11 Comments
  • Aerdna Smailliw

    Sure, I sew Whitehead making the final roster. Despite what the article states , Lucky has put on 12 lbs of muscle and has been working on the outside WR spots. It is Beasley who is limited due to his diminutive size of 5'8. 176 lbs, not Whitehead. Lucky is also extremely fast and sure handed as evidenced by his performance after Beasley struggled catching and fumbling kicks. Whitehead did not have a turnover in 2015. All he needs is more opportunies, let's not make the same mistake we made in allowing Dwayne Harris to walk.

    • Brian Martin

      I'm going to respectfully disagree. I don't think Whitehead is close to being as good as Cole Beasley as a receiver. Beasley has arguably the best hands on the team with the exception of Bryant. I'm not saying that I don't think Whitehead can't make the team, but I think he's in a battle for that fifth WR spot. I don't know if the Cowboys can afford to carry six wide receivers with the defensive line so thin.

  • Jeff Anderson

    I think he definitely makes the roster while Lance Dunbar recovers fully. I think his biggest battle may be with Dunbar and not the other receivers because of their similar abilities. I don't see any of our taller receivers being able to match his skill set.

    • Brian Martin

      Jeff, everything you say is true. I even wrote an article about how Lucky Whitehead and Lance Dunbar have a similar skill set about a month ago. Personally, I'm actually kind of hoping that Darius Jackson can fill that Dunbar type role. Jackson actually has an opportunity to prove himself while Darren McFadden is out. There are definitely some position battles that will be really interesting to keep track of throughout training camp.

  • Jeff Cook

    The only WR that would shock me more than Lucky to see make the 53 would be Street

    • Brian Martin

      I don't see any scenario where Street makes the team. He's had his chances and unfortunately hasn't been able to prove he's worth keeping around.

  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    I talked about this on Cowboys Cast a couple of weeks ago, but I have a tangent type theory on why Lucky is safe.

    Look at how engrained he is in the team's image. He's one of the faces of the franchise. He's allowed to do things like run their Snapchat account and he got to compete in Dirk's celebrity softball game… Not everyone is on that status level.

    Do these things have ANYTHING to do with his football skills? Of course not. But I think they're indicative that he's valued to a legitimate degree. To the point made in here you don't see Devin Street being given those opportunities.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • Brian Martin

    RJ, I can't argue with any of that. I was mostly judging him based on his football performance. Whitehead has quickly become a fan favorite, but he is limited to what he can do offensively and I'm not sure he is worth keeping around as a return specialist due to the changes to the new kickoff rules. I like Whitehead, but as a receiver I think I will always want more than what he can offer. I think Andy Jones and Ed Eagan could possibly give him a run for his money if the Cowboys decide to keep just five WRs on the 53 man roster. Training camp can't get here quick enough to hopefully start sorting some of these position battles out.

  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    Agreed Brian!

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • MB

    Whitehead sucks. If they keep him just add another blunder to the list of management fumbles. His hair and mouth piece alone are enough reason to cut him. Plenty of other recievers 10x more talented.

    • Brian Martin

      MB, I appreciate you taking the time to comment about Lucky Whitehead. I agree partly with what you said. I wouldn't personally go as far as saying Whitehead sucks. I think he is very limited in what he can do as a WR, mostly because of his size. I think if he does make the final 53 man roster again it will be because of his special teams ability. I really think it will ultimately come down between Whitehead and Lance Dunbar. We saw a small sample size of Whitehead filling in that role that Lance Dunbar did prior to his knee injury and I think the Cowboys really like that kind of offensive threat. I do agree with you that I think there are some better WRs competing for that roster spot with Whitehead. I personally like Ed Eagan and Andy Jones Moore is a receiver. Unfortunately, we won't get an answer until the final roster cuts.

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