The Dallas Cowboys have found themselves in a bind since free-agent acquisition James Washington suffered an injury early in training camp that’ll sideline him for up three months. Jerry Jones has voiced his confidence in Quarterback Dak Prescott and his young slate of receivers, regardless of outside restlessness regarding the pool of unproven players expected to contribute.
CeeDee Lamb is still the bonafide first option in this option, but behind him lies question marks surrounding a competent number two. Third-round rookie Jalen Tolbert will get a fair number of opportunities to assume the role, while players like Semi Fehoko, Noah Brown and Dennis Houston pull the rear of the depth chart.
Michael Gallup seems to be on track for a healthy recovery, but it would be irresponsible to expect an immediate impact from him coming off an ACL injury. There is a crop of names being floated around who are still in free agency, so here are a few and why they are still left unsigned.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The most dynamic and talented of the names still without a team is Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham shined for the LA Rams in their run to the Super Bowl before tearing his ACL in the first half.
Maybe prematurely, but many believe he was en route to a possible Super Bowl MVP bid with the performance he stacked together against the Bengals. Beckham is progressing well after sustaining his second ACL tear in a 15-month span, but the former Pro Bowler is not expected to be available to start the 2022 season.
The minimum projected time to recover from an ACL injury is anywhere from six to nine months with 100% recovery expected to be up to a year. Immensely talented for sure, but two receivers on your roster recovering from ACL injuries seems counterproductive.
Former Buffalo Bill Cole Beasley requested a trade at the end of the season, which was followed by a decision to eventually cut the veteran receiver. He said things changed within the organization and has stated he would welcome a reunion with Dak Prescott.
However, there’s a huge flaw in that.
Like Amari Cooper, Beasley is keen on not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine shot – something the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff and owner viewed as a lack of commitment to winning at any costs.
Though Beasley enjoyed a few productive seasons in Buffalo and has familiarity with Prescott, it would be flawed to bring him in if he holds the same ideology that played a part in Cooper being traded.
A free agency receiver with a more impressive overall résumé than Sanders is difficult to find. The seasoned receiver has not only been a No. 1 option for the Denver Broncos from 2014 till 2016, but he has also won a Super Bowl, participated in another, and made an appearance in the postseason seven times.
Not only will signing Sanders fill the void from Washington, but it would also be an improvement. Sanders, who will soon begin his 13th season, is still among the league’s top secondary receivers despite his age.
Sanders had a 65.6 offensive grade and a 67.7 receiving grade last season, per Pro Football Focus. Not only are those grades above average, but they also far exceed Washington’s results. Last season, Washington recorded offensive grades of 50.5 and receiving grades of 51.1.
However, the main issue lies in him turning 36 this season. As aforementioned, Dallas is looking to develop a young core of receivers they believe in. Adding a veteran who has hit his ceiling would only be taking reps away from players you’re looking to see hit their potential.
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