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Free agent focus 2018: Could WR coach Sanjay Lal bring Donte Moncrief to Cowboys?

The Cowboys just hired a new wide receivers coach, could he entice one of his former players to come?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We’re going to be taking a look at a lot of potential wide receivers for the Cowboys this offseason as that position underachieved all season. The Cowboys have a new wide receivers Coach in Sanjay Lal. Coach Lal has a solid reputation among his wide receivers and it makes you wonder if one of his guys, set to be a free agent, would be interested in joining a Cowboys’ roster that needs some sprucing up.

[In this series, come along as we peruse the long list of free agents and focus on players that could be of interest for the Cowboys. Some of these players may, of course, price themselves out of range. However, any time you feel like your team is close like Dallas most definitely does, why not be a little aggressive in the acquisitions department?]

WR Donte Moncrief, (6’2, 216 lbs, 24-years-old)- Indianapolis Colts

2017 stats: 26 receptions, 391 yards, 15.0 YPC, two touchdowns

He played his college days at Ole Miss and had 156 receptions, 2,371 yards, and 20 touchdowns for the Rebels. He decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Moncrief has size, but he also has good acceleration and speed which is what catches the eye immediately. One of the more impressive traits he has is his ability to create separation from the defender. The Cowboys had a hard time getting separation from their entire depth chart last season. He shot up many draftnik’s boards coming out of college, especially considering he was among the Combine’s top performers at his position in 40-time (4.40), vertical jump (39.5), and broad jump (11 feet).

Though many thought his draft season performances would have him selected much higher, he wasn’t drafted until the 90th pick in the third round by the Colts. His rookie year, Moncrief played in all 16 games and actually started two of them. He recorded 32 receptions for 444 yards, averaging 13.9 yards per catch, and scored three touchdowns.

Moncrief had his best season in 2015 despite his quarterback Andrew Luck missing nine games that year. He played in all 16 games, started 10 of them, had 60 receptions for 733 yards, an 11.5 average per catch, and six touchdowns. Moncrief also recorded two 100-yard games that season and had five catches of 25+ yards or more. He fractured his scapula in the third week of the 2016 NFL season, it was reported he would miss four to six weeks.

He returned from injury after five weeks, playing nine games total that season. Though it was his least production in total yards at 307 on 30 receptions, he made them count. Moncrief had seven touchdown catches, accounted for 22 first downs, and had three catches of 20+ yards or more.

This season, he made some big plays (7 catches of 20+ yards or more and 22 first downs) even though he was on one of the least talented rosters in the NFL. Instead of Luck playing quarterback, he was placed on injured reserve in November for a shoulder injury. The Colts started with Scott Tolzien before trading for Jacoby Brissett who started from week two on.

It was a down year for the Colts who await to hear the progress on Luck moving forward. If Moncrief does move on, it would make a lot of sense for coach Sanjay Lal to pitch him to the Cowboys’ coaching staff. The Cowboys need receiver help and could look to this year’s draft, but maybe a free agent with big-play ability could be in order as well.