As we sit here in late June, the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver room looks very different heading into the 2022 season than the year prior. As a refresher, Amari Cooper is gone to Cleveland, Cedrick Wilson is in Miami, and Malik Turner left for San Francisco. That’s three of the six wide receivers that saw significant action last season playing somewhere else in 2022.
However, the Cowboys WR group is not without talent as they re-signed Michael Gallup, gave CeeDee Lamb a promotion to WR1, and drafted talented Jalen Tolbert from Southern Alabama to help out the unit. James Washington was brought in from Pittsburgh to compete, Noah Brown is back in his presumed customary role as a blocking WR with some catch ability, while second-year player Simi Fehoko is back and the team expects him to take a leap in his sophomore season. The team is intrigued by T.J. Vasher with the staff excited about his potential to round out the unit.
Understanding who has left and who is here is important as it allows us to be real with the fact that the Cowboys should not be sitting on their hands and should be looking for a way to improve the position. There are quality players on this roster, guys who have made plays before, but it’s not perfect and there is room for improvement. Michael Gallup is set to miss games due to his ACL injury, Tolbert is a rookie and you wonder what his development will look like and how fast the NFL game will come to him, and James Washington can help this team as he has made plays before, but just how much is the million dollar question.
If we are going to look at how to improve the position group we will have to look at the who, and the how. Who is available and how can they help. Let’s take a closer look:
As we get later into the offseason the options to add to the roster get lesser, however Will Fuller has made a lot of sense for the Cowboys since the offseason began. Fuller is a speed threat who is still only 28 and has the ability really take the top off a defense when available.
Fuller has had his fair share of injuries and staying on the field is always a concern with him, but with it being this late into the offseason the money would be reasonable and we know that the Cowboys look at that first and foremost. Secondly, the risk would be minimal, you bring him in to compete. If the talent is there, if he is healthy and able to impress it’s a small price to pay to upgrade the position. If a move for Fuller was made one could assume it would be a this or that decision between him and James Washington and one could make a real case that Fuller is the better, more complete player. However with the rehab of Gallup still unknown it might allow for both to be available early on.
Hilton is a smart veteran who is known as a savvy route runner who may still be able to provide juice to the position group even at 32 years of age. Hilton has spent his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts, but with being on the other side of 30 the Colts look to be moving on from him.
There has been rumblings of a possible link between Hilton and the Cowboys all through the offseason and much like every player at this time of year, it may be worth kicking the tires to see what he has available and what the money may look like to add the veteran presence.
There are other flashier names available that we didn’t mention like Odell Beckham or Julio Jones, but the point is to be realistic with expectations. Odell Beckham is coming off a torn ACL in the Super Bowl and Julio Jones may not make a ton of sense for the Cowboys at this point is career.
The idea of Humphries being added to the fold may be one that the Cowboys would like to do. Humphries is still 28 years old and is a shifty route runner that could provide juice to the middle of the field in the short to intermediate routes for Dak Prescott and this offense. Humphries did not have a stellar season last year, he battled injury and inconsistent QB play in Washington, but being added to a much more stable offense with an established QB may be just what he needs. Money will be of no concern as the expectations would probably hover around league minimum, and if that’s the case, it cannot hurt for the Cowboys to bring him in for a visit to see if there may be a fit. Worst case scenario is he doesn’t fit and you waste a workout, best there is a chance he could come in and compete to make the position group better.