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Could The Cowboys Take A Wide Receiver Early?

While the Dallas Cowboys seem to be set at wide receiver once they sign Dez Bryant, do they really have the type of wide receivers needed to be the most prolific in that area?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The optimum blend of wide receiver types are a trio of three types. The first type is the number-one receiver who generally plays the x-receiver. He has the capability of catching the tough ball over the middle. He also can apex the ball on jump-balls especially on fade routes in the end zone.

Additionally he has really good speed while also being able to get off a press cover corner without much effort and is the one who is counted on to get the first down when it is absolutely needed.

The second type is the slot-receiver who is much quicker than he is fast. He can cut on a dime and runs routes to perfection in the five yard range. He is the Wes Welker type who is the quick outlet who always seems to get open because the defender can not play any leverage to either side since he can go either right or left.

The final wide receiver type is the one best suited for the z-receiver. His job is to "blow the top off a defense." He is the speed burner who can catch the deep balls. He also ideally is quick as well so he can get into his routes immediately and get separation on the skinny posts.

One of the reasons the Cowboys were so successful last year was their ability to entice the defense to go to cover-one or cover-zero. They did this by running the ball so well it forced the defense to bring at least one of their safeties down into the box to stop the run. This left them with a single-safety high and exposed them to single coverage on one of the five pass receiving options.

The best way to take advantage of the single coverage while at the same time forcing the defense to not bring the extra defender down in the box is by having a speed-merchant at the z-receiver spot that scares the defensive coordinator.

The Cowboys are lacking this receiver type. They have Terrance Williams who is a nice z-receiver but is not going to scare the defense with his speed enough to take the top off of it. A team should send this guy deep on every running down at the least to where the defense has to consider double covering him by bringing a safety over the top. Also there are some that feel Williams is too inconsistent and disappears from many games.

There are a few of these type of receivers in the draft and one of them is Miami WR Phillip Dorsett who ran a 4.33 at the combine. Another is J.J. Nelson, UAB who ran an incredible 4.29. Others include Tyler Lockett, Kansas St. (4.35), Chris Conley, Georgia (4.35), and Kevin White, West Virginia (4.35). Keep in mind that track speed is not always demonstrated on the football field and you have to match the track numbers with what you see from their speed on tape during games.

Probably the most intriguing receiver is Dorial Green-Beckham from Missouri/Oklahoma. At 6-5 and 237 pounds running a 4.49 can make your heart race just thinking about his possibilities even though he doesn't fit the z-receiver mold. He also scares a lot of teams because of his off-the-field issues.

If the Cowboys find a wide receiver as the best player available when they are on the clock and they can't find a trading partner, will they take one, (especially if he is one of the ones mentioned above), or will they move to the B.P.A. at a position of need as most teams seem to do?

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