Entering the draft a vast majority of Cowboys fans thought there was no way the team would actually draft 10 players with all 10 of their picks. They were right. Dallas only drafted nine players, but they traded for two more.
Among the Cowboys 11-player haul last weekend were three different receivers: Michael Gallup, Tavon Austin, and Cedrick Wilson (they also traded away Ryan Switzer). The troika joins a group that already includes Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Noah Brown, Deonte Thompson, Lance Lenoir, and KD Cannon.
Last season the Cowboys carried six receivers over the course of the season. Half of them (Dez Bryant, Brice Butler, and Ryan Switzer) are gone. Things are seriously changing at a position group that hasn’t seen much change over the last five seasons.
This brings up a very good question. Which receivers are safe? Who are the locks, if you will? On Wednesday our own Danny Phantom put together a 53-man roster prediction, and he gave the Cowboys five receivers.
An important distinction before we go any further lies within one of the newest Cowboys
receivers running backs, Tavon Austin. The Cowboys view him as that, a running back, and he won’t be in consideration as far as receivers go. This gives us nine to weed through.
The absolute locks
As far as the Cowboys go, they’ve normally had three locks at receiver entering the season. That changed when they released Dez Bryant.
Allen Hurns is the safest bet, but Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley are very close; however, are they necessarily locks?
It would actually cost the Cowboys money against the salary cap to release T-Will before the season begins, and Cole Beasley is the best slot receiver left on the team. That being said, if they viewed one of the younger players as more viable, could they move on?
You can count Michael Gallup in as a third-round pick.
Absolute locks: Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup
The basically-going-to-make-the-team guys
It might seem shortsighted to have not included Terrance Williams as a lock, but again given what we’ve seen from the Cowboys this offseason it’s fair to say that nobody is safe. As he’s not a lock, he’s the next best thing, and that’s a player who’s basically going to make it.
Terrance would put the position group at four, and can you really say with almost absolute certainty that anyone else is going to make the team? You can’t. It’s going to be a fight.
Basically going to make the team: Terrance Williams
The guys likely to round out the end
One of the biggest pet cats around town last training camp was seventh-round pick Noah Brown. Yea, I’m talking about you.
Noah aka Baby Dez is also a physical receiver, and he impressed the Cowboys so much that they chose to keep him on the 53-man roster all season long. In fact, Noah was promoted to the active gameday 46-man roster when they team visited Denver and returned 12 more times.
This means a lot, as he was a seventh-round draft pick. Dallas did sign Deonte Thompson this offseason and drafted Cedrick Wilson, but are they really ready to walk away from Noah after a year of commitment?
These are the three guys that are candidates for the final spot (or two spots). At least one of them is going to be the odd man out, and the first is likely Cedrick Wilson. Maybe the team saves a roster spot somewhere else and carries six once more.
Guys likely to round out the end: Noah Brown, Deonte Thompson
The probably-not-going-to-make-the-squad guys
If Cedrick Wilson is indeed the odd man out, he’s likely one of the first candidates to join the team’s practice squad. This is where Lance Lenoir and KD Cannon have been, but that honestly seems like their ceiling with the Cowboys, at least entering 2018.
Both Lance and KD have attributes that should be admired, but this is simply a matter of there not being enough spots. They’ll have to move on just as players like Andy Jones have in the past.
Probably not going to make the squad: Cedrick Wilson, Lance Lenoir, KD Cannon
Over to you, who makes it from the receivers on the current roster?