The Case(s) Against Adding a 3rd WR

Now that the we know that Roy Williams is no longer a member of the Dallas Cowboys, part of the debate as shifted to who will be the 3rd wide receiver. Will it be Steve Breaston, Lance Moore or some other speedy slot receiver who's also a FA. I believe that this debate is rather pointless, but in the now fast-paced FA period that has deals, updates, blogs etc popping up by what feels like the second, I decided to talk about this subject. Given who needs to be re-signed (Bowen & Kosier) and the holes that need to be filled (FS, SS, DL) the 3rd WR position is near the bottom of the position of need list. Additionally, and probably, more importantly, the 3rd WR/3rd Option is already on the roster. Indulge me as I attempt to make the case against adding another WR.


Case #1: Miles, Dez and Witten are essentially options 1a, 1b and 1c, in no particular order. Given that we already have 2, 1000 yard receivers on this team and another with the potential to be one means that there is no need to take away from that. Chances are also that the 3rd WR by virtue of the position/depth chart was drafted in April.

Case #2: The Two Tight-End Formation - Since Parcells took over the Two Tight-End formation has become the staple of the Cowboys' offense. Having tight ends like Witten, Bennett and Phillips that run like power forwards, are match up nightmares for LB, CB and Safety and can block DEs means that our offense can place any one of these guys into the slot and they can be just as effective as a traditional slot-receiver. Of course, we are still waiting for Martellus Bennett to emerge and blossom into the player we have hoped he would already. The good news is that with competition being more than just a buzz word around camp and throughout the season, Bennett will be pushed by John Phillips who showed that he is just as versatile as Bennett is, when he was given the opportunity.

Case #3: The Versatility & Flexibility of Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray - This one might actually be my favorite case against the traditional 3rd WR/Slot Receiver debate. These two guys and for the sake of the argument, Tashard Choice, give Jason Garrett the ability to be as creative as he wants to be with his offense, namely the formations. I have tried to list ever computation and permutation of formations given the players that we have on offense but in the interest of time I'll list a few and see where your imagination takes you.

  • Miles & Dez on the outside, Witten TE & Felix in the slot, Choice RB
  • Miles & Dez on the outside, Witten & Bennett/Phillips in the slot, Felix RB
  • Witten & Bennett on the outside, Miles & Dez in the slot...Felix, Choice or Murrary RB (see the Tampa Bay game when Roy scored on a pass down the hash)
  • Miles & D. Harris on the outside,  Dez in the slot, Felix, Choice or Murray RB
  • Dez & D. Harris on the outside,  Miles in the slot, Felix, Choice or Murrary RB
  • Miles & Dez on the outside, Witten Phillips or Bennett TE, Felix & Choice in the backfield as split backs Felix motions to the slot (same formation with Felix and Murray and either of them motions to the slot)

Granted I have not taken into consideration the amount of motions that can be used just in the Two Tight End sets, nor have I given much consideration to Harris, Ogletree or Hurd. And while the formations above are just small sampling of what can be done, similar to how Reggie Bush had been used in prior years and Brian Westbrook, it's easy to see that the mismatches of size, speed and both are limitless for this offense. Of course, all of that is contingent about how well the OLINE plays, Dez's comprehension of the playbook and the health of the players.


Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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