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?
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.
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.