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Sean’s Scout: WR Allen Hurns Matches Cowboys Physical Identity on Offense

Becoming the last team in the NFL this offseason to sign an outside free agent, the Dallas Cowboys significantly upgraded their passing game with the additions of wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns.

Hurns is likely the biggest name the Cowboys will add prior to the draft, headlining a solid class of free agents that also includes LB Joe Thomas, OT Cameron Fleming, and G Marcus Martin.

Having already scouted Deonte Thompson here at Inside The Star, it is time to take a look at what Allen Hurns can bring to the Cowboys in his fifth season.

WR Allen Hurns: Strengths

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For as much buzz that has surrounded Dez Bryant this offseason in Dallas, who certainly looks to be in the team’s plans for 2018, the Cowboys’ newest receiver profiles very similarly to #88.

Allen Hurns is a physical, possession receiver that plays with exceptional awareness in space. Without great separating speed, Hurns is still able to set up defensive backs through his breaks to free himself and become a big target for the quarterback.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars used Hurns as a big slot target plenty of times in 2017, but this is a player that can translate his ability to track the football and catch it away from his frame to the outside with ease.

Hurns attacks the air space or “cushion” that defenders often gave him out of the slot with great length and balance. Able to snap violently through his routes — with fluid hips for a bigger receiver — Hurns uses his long but quick strides to create separation and burst up the field after the catch.

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Catching the ball in traffic and away from his body is not a problem for Allen Hurns, who should have a chance to quickly become a favorite target of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

Hurns is not afraid to play through contact or lower his shoulder to finish a play, adding yet another level of tenacity to a Cowboys offense that prides themselves on such toughness.

WR Allen Hurns: Weaknesses

When it comes to the pair of receivers the Cowboys have added this offseason, Deonte Thompson is the more explosive athlete to be used as a vertical target. Allen Hurns lacks the quick twitch and overall game speed to truly beat many defenders over the top.

As a true route runner, Hurns will lose some momentum as he labors through his turn back to the football, allowing DBs to recover and disrupt at the catch point. When asked to win at this catch point against these defenders, Hurns is not as consistent “above the rim” as you might expect looking at his build.

Based on just this past season’s tape, it will remain to be seen how often Allen Hurns can win against tight coverage on the outside, which he’ll likely see plenty of in Dallas.

My expectation is that Hurns will be just fine – a receiver the Cowboys should feel comfortable knowing what they’re getting in, and one that does not come with any major weaknesses.

WR Allen Hurns: Summary

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Allen Hurns is a Dak-friendly upgrade over Terrance Williams at the Cowboys Y-WR position. While a duo of Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams was often criticized for lacking diversity, it is possible the Cowboys have paired even more similar players now with Hurns and Bryant.

For a team that wants to get back to their identity of controlling the ball on offense, I don’t see Hurns hindering the Cowboys passing attack in any way – instead improving it as a player with the versatility to line up at multiple spots and get open.

Sean's Scout: WR Allen Hurns Matches Cowboys Physical Identity on Offense
Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns

Dak Prescott’s massive new target is a proven receiver in this league that should see plenty of throws in rhythm, signed to a two-year deal at the age of 26. Allen Hurns will be looking to prove himself in the star in hopes of earning another long-term contract, and the results should be plenty of fun for Cowboys Nation to take in.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: WR Allen Hurns Matches Cowboys Physical Identity on Offense” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

What do you think?

Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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