NBA free-agency tracker:

Veteran Receivers Still Available for Dallas Cowboys: A Fan's Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

Dallas Cowboys fans across the country will have their eyes and ears on what many think will be the most important position battle when training camp begins in July -- the third wide receiver spot behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.

I can tell you without doubt who it will not be. The recently released Indoor Football League receiver and part owner of the Allen Wranglers and former Cowboy Terrell Owens certainly won't be on the list. Neither will Roy Williams, Jerry Jones' big gamble from a few years ago when he overpaid for the former Detroit Lions WR.

Although he can still be productive, I don't see Plaxico Burress fitting into this team with the direction coach Jason Garrett is moving and his focus on quality, high-character guys. Granted, Burress messed up and paid the price for it, but there will always be some sort of doubt that surrounds him. That's just human nature.

Team officials are going to say the right things about the current situation, claiming they believe the third receiver is already on the roster. How can they not?

But, Cowboys Nation saw how important that slot is with the explosion of Laurent Robinson when Austin was marred by injuries and, by his own testimony, Bryant wasn't at 100 percent for 15 of the 16 games on the schedule.

I was excited when the Cowboys drafted Danny Coale out of Virginia Tech. I thought he would eventually turn into the coveted No. 3 guy, but his broken foot during OTAs will set him back a bit and won't be on equal footing - no pun intended - with some of the other candidates.

Kevin Ogletree has had ample opportunity to claim that spot, but he has failed to do so. A lot of people are excited about the potential of Raymond Radway, Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris, but at this point they are still unknowns.

Fortunately, there are a couple veteran options still available in free agency that could fill that role.

Anthony Gonzalez - the former first-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts signed with the New England Patriots earlier this offseason, but an influx of receivers and the fact that Wes Welker signed his franchise tender made Gonzalez expendable. He's overcoming some concussion issues, but he could be brought in inexpensively to be the team's third receiver.

Mike Sims-Walker - the 6-foot-2, 212 pound receiver would like to forget his 2011 campaign. He was virtually invisible during sparse duty with the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars. But, he is productive when healthy. Sims-Walker could be another one-year reclamation project without having to spend a lot of money.

Patrick Crayton - a lot of Cowboys fans were glad to see Crayton leave, primarily using his non-catch against the New York Giants as the reason. However, Crayton was a very solid No. 3 receiver during his time with Dallas. He instantly has familiarity with the Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo. That doesn't necessarily translate into automatic success, but he would have the edge over those on the current roster getting ready to fight it out.

John Ingle is a graduate of the Midwestern State University Mass Communication program with an emphasis in journalism. He is a life-long Dallas Cowboys and football fan dating back to the late 1970s and has had covered the Cowboys as a journalism intern during two training camps at MSU. Follow him on Twitter @inglejohn1973.

View Comments