While most Cowboys-focused memories of their Wild Card victory over the Seahawks are positive ones, those surrounded Allen Hurns are rather brutal. Hurns had to be carted off of the field early in that playoff game with a lower leg injury, and looked like he’d be out for quite some time.
Somehow, Allen Hurns is expected to be ready for training camp and should be healthy and ready to go for week one in the Fall.
Just because he’ll be ready to go, however, doesn’t mean the Cowboys will be eager to have him on the field. Hurns wasn’t too productive during his first year in Dallas, and saw his playing time decreased heavily after the Cowboys traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper. As of right now you’d expect Hurns to be in the WR4 role for the Cowboys, backing up Cooper/Michael Gallup as an outside receiver.
Stephen Jones spoke differently about his potential role, however, stating that he thinks Hurns can help in the slot for the Cowboys in 2019. Especially since Cole Beasley is moving onto a new team.
Replacing Beasley with Hurns is not exactly an improvement at the position, and you’d still like Dallas to bring in a player from the outside to compete for reps in the slot, whether that be through free agency or the NFL Draft. Either way, Hurns’ value to the receiving corps in 2019 should be in question, even if the Cowboys’ staff continues preach about how much of a leader and positive locker room guy he is.
I have no doubt that Hurns is a great dude worthy of a training camp spot with the team and a chance to compete. But a player’s mentality and leadership should not valued over actual on-field ability, especially when you are trying to improve your passing attack in the modern NFL.
When Hurns was signed last offseason, fans hoped he could replace some of the production which would be lost with Dez Bryant being released. In Jacksonville there were examples of him filling that “Dez-like” role, but nothing he did with Dallas in 2018 should give you confidence he can do so going forward.
The answer to the title of this piece, at least at this point, is “I don’t know.” Nobody really knows. The Cowboys like Hurns enough to pick up his option for 2019, but I’d be shocked if they came away from the draft without a player who could serve as a direct replacement with a higher talent ceiling.