When a player of any stature becomes available, you can bet that a large contingency in Cowboys Nation will want his next team to be the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, this often doesn’t apply to players at positions the Cowboys already seem pretty set at – one of which currently being WR.
Despite having frightening continuity with veteran pass catchers like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley along with Brice Butler, Ryan Switzer, and Noah Brown backing them up, the thought of adding Eric Decker is an interesting one to consider for the Cowboys.
As part of the New York Jets ongoing fire sale, the team announced yesterday that they’ll pursue a trade for experienced wide receiver Eric Decker before cutting him this week.
Decker, at 29 years old, played in just three games in 2016 with his shoulder injury – catching nine passes for two scores. Leaving behind Peyton Manning and the Broncos to play the last three seasons with the lowly Jets and their carousel of quarterbacks, Decker’s production has not dropped as a lethal red zone weapon with big play potential.
In 2015, he was second only to Allen Robinson in red zone touchdowns as one of the Jets’ only reliable pass catchers. Decker’s 12 touchdowns put him back on the map after a sluggish 2014 campaign.
The Cowboys did not ask Dak Prescott to throw the ball a ton in the red zone as a rookie because of their rushing attack, but it was an area they could have improved in as Prescott completed just 55.77% of his passes within the 20. As a team, Dallas was fifth in converting red zone touches to touchdowns.
It would not be surprising in the slightest if the Cowboys moved forward with their current depth at WR, with locked in starters at the top of their depth chart and their own young depth to develop behind. Still, taking a low-risk chance on a player like Decker could only make the Cowboys’ offense that much more dominant in 2017.
Is Decker better than Brice Butler? Yes. Is Decker better than Terrance Williams? Yes. Is Decker better than Lucky Whitehead? Yes. https://t.co/atowFUTuBk
At his best, a healthy Eric Decker could potentially push Terrance Williams for some playing time as a more consistent, downfield play maker – helping the Cowboys finish more drives. At his absolute least he would be outstanding depth to have with little pressure put on the team to keep him on the roster because of what they’ll lose to add him.
Opposing defenses preparing to face the Cowboys this season will already have their hands full with defending Ezekiel Elliott and getting past this stellar offensive line, in addition to committing enough in coverage to deal with Prescott and his targets on the outside. Finally adding a complete route runner with elite field awareness across from Dez Bryant could truly be the “final touch” this offense needs to break scoreboards all season long on their way to something special with Eric Decker.
The Cowboys are expecting to add four compensatory picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, so a late round pick could become expendable to make one of their strengths even stronger by trading for Decker.
If not, should Decker hit free agency, a Cowboys team with some money to work with now could be in the market for his services.