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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.

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - 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.

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.



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.

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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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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Terrance Williams
Ric Tapia via AP

An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw

However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.

In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.

The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.

It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.

We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler

John Williams

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5 Bye Week Adjustments Cowboys Hopefully Made

The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.

According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.

Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.

He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.

To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.

If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.

This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.

Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?



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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

Sean Martin

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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon's Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.

Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.

The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.

Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.

His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.

Last season,  Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.

The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.

Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi

I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.

Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.

If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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