When the Cowboys traded away wide receiver Amari Cooper for practically nothing, there was panic about how the team would replace his production. Even after many believed UDFA talent could help mitigate the loss, the answer was clear: no one would replace Cooper.
Thankfully, CeeDee Lamb turned into the No. 1 receiver everyone knew he was with a second-team All-Pro season but the promise ended there. Michael Gallup, coming off a torn ACL, struggled to find his form and a $13.8 million cap hit in 2023 puts the pressure on him to regain his footing. The Athletic delivered their biggest offseason needs for every NFL team, and the wide receiver issue led the way for Dallas.
Position of greatest need: Wide receiver
The Cowboys have their No. 1 in CeeDee Lamb, but they need a player capable of producing like a No. 2. They believe they have that in Michael Gallup, but he didn’t produce like one this past season as he was less than a year removed from a torn ACL. The hope is that he’ll be much improved in 2023, but Dallas can’t count on hope. Franchise QB Dak Prescott needs more weapons around him now, and the Cowboys need to be aggressive. Whether it’s in free agency, via trade like their rivals in Philadelphia did to acquire A.J. Brown during last year’s draft, or drafting one as early as the first round in April, the Cowboys must address the position if they expect to get beyond the divisional round of the playoffs. — Jon Machota
The Eagles’ acquisition of A.J. Brown turned into a Super Bowl appearance and his 45-yard touchdown in the game was in clear opposition of the Cowboys’ lack of urgency at the position which doomed them against the 49ers. There’s three options for Dallas regarding their wide receiver hole.
The first option, and the dark horse in the argument, is trading for a wide receiver. Brandin Cooks has voiced his dissatisfaction in Houston and a couple-hour drive could put a quick smile on the veteran receiver’s face. There are several other veterans such as Deandre Hopkins who are rumored to be on the market. The question is how much would Dallas be willing to give up for a guy with a hefty price tag.
The second option is finding a free agent to fill the hole. Jakobi Meyers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and D.J. Chark are all set to hit free agency in March. Odell Beckham Jr. has continued conversations with the Cowboys and it would be a splash signing if he’s able to stay healthy.
The final option is selecting a wide receiver on the first two days of the draft. There’s a plethora of potential receivers in this draft and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba could fit in perfect.
All things considered, there’s plenty of options for Dallas and all they need to do is pick one and it’ll make things much easier for quarterback Dak Prescott in 2023.