Cowboys Must Add A WR, And The Free Agent Crop Is Gross

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juju smith schuster

The Dallas Cowboys need to add another star WR to the roster, but they must be creative to make it happen.

Aside from CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys didn’t get much production from the WR group. Lamb had a career-year, setting highs in catches, yards and touchdowns.

Here are the stat lines from the Cowboys wideouts:

  • CeeDee Lamb: 107 receptions for 1,359 yards and 9 TDs
  • Noah Brown: 43 receptions for 555 yards and 3 TDs
  • Michael Gallup: 39 receptions for 424 yards and 4 TDs
  • T.Y. Hilton: 7 receptions for 121 yards 
  • Simi Fehoko: 3 catches for 24 yards
  • Dennis Houston: 2 catches for 6 yards
  • Jalen Tolbert: 2 catches for 12 yards 
  • KaVontae Turpin: 1 catch for 9 yards

Lamb had 10 more receptions, 198 more yards and two more touchdowns than every other WR combined.

For the Cowboys to break through and sustain a deep playoff run, they’ll need to retool at WR. Unfortunately, this offseason isn’t a favorable time to do it.

Free agent class of WRs is weak

Last offseason’s list of free agent pass catchers was stacked. Davante Adams, Mike Williams, Chris Godwin and Christian Kirk were all on the market.

This offseason isn’t nearly as strong. Here are the top free agents searching for a new contract:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: 78 catches for 933 yards and 3 TDs
  • Jakobi Meyers: 96 catches for 804 yards and 6 TDs
  • Allen Lazard: 60 catches for 788 yards and 6 TDs
  • Darius Slayton: 46 catches for 724 yards and 2 TDs 
  • D.J. Chark: 30 catches for 502 yards and 3 TDs

Adding any of these players to the roster would provide a boost to the offense. But none offer the playmaking abilities to make the Cowboys Super Bowl contenders in 2023.

What other options do the Cowboys have?

One route Dallas could take to revamp the WR core is through the NFL Draft. The Cowboys have picks in each round besides the sixth.

Some players that could be available in the early rounds include: Jalin Hyatt from Tennessee, Kayshon Boutte from LSU and Zay Flowers from Boston College.

Dallas could also look to make a deal for a proven commodity, though it would be out of character for Jerry Jones to make a splashy trade. But if he’s feeling dangerous, there will certainly be game-changing talent available to acquire.

One option is Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans. Sports Illustrated reported the Cowboys nearly landed Cooks at the trade deadline, but his $18 million guaranteed in 2023 prevented the move. The 29-year-old has amassed 2,866 receiving yards the past three seasons. Maybe Jones and the Texans can meet at the negotiating table again and make his large salary work for Dallas.

Another possibility is Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins. The Bengals are likely to give QB Joe Burrow a massive extension this offseason. In the near future, WR Ja’Marr Chase will also be up for a megadeal. To save money and get some return, Cincinnati could look to deal Higgins before he’s an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Higgins has yet to post less than 900 yards and six touchdowns in any of his first three seasons. In 2021 and 2022, the 24-year-old posted consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons.

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