Many football critics see the Cowboys at a major loss without star wide receiver Terrell Owens, but I feel differently. I see better team chemistry in Dallas this season and an offensive core that remains very talented. Today we’ll review the wide receiver lineup in Dallas.
1. Roy Williams. Easily a number one wide receiver in his own right, but due to Owens’ reputation, Williams is being forced to live up to a really high standard. I think he’ll pleasantly surprise many football fans, as he’s never played for a quarterback with Romo’s talent. Williams will most likely have a career year in 2009.
2. Patrick Crayton. He’s 30 years old, but his impact has been felt more so than ever before the last two seasons. Having averaged around 500 yards per season, Crayton is good for a few catches per game, and the occasional touchdown as well. I expect Crayton to see more action this season with Owens’ absence, and I think he’ll be a trusty option at number two.
3. Miles Austin Age:25 (6’3″ 216 lbs 4.47 40 yard dash). This kid has a ton of potential, let;s just hope he can utilize it now that we need him to. I have read reports that he is battling Crayton for the #2 spot, but he is currently splitting time as the #3 with Hurd. I would definitely like to see him lining up on the outside, with Crayton and Hurd handling the slots. He is widely considered the deep threat of this receiving group, which is a very accurate statement. He only had 13 receptions (in 12 games) last year, but they were for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns. His YPC last season was 21.4.
Austin’s may end up seeing many of the passes that Owens saw in previous seasons; the deep Romo bombs are a nice fit given Austin’s raw speed, and lining up in the slot will throw many offenses off should Austin make an impact in Dallas.
4. Sam Hurd. A young wide receiver, just 24 years old, Hurd is making waves in training camp (just like he did in 2008). Many say that he’s making great plays in practice and see this receiver coming into his own in 2009.
Owens’ departure places a little more dependency on Hurd, and while he still has to develop some, he could easily be an effective role player for the Cowboys, good for a few catches per game.
I’m gonna end it there, since these are the 4 receivers that are pretty much guaranteed a roster spot, and gonna be the top 4. The way I would prefer for it to work out would be Williams and Austin on the outside, Crayton in the slot, and Hurd as the #4, but I don’t know if that is going to be how it works out. I could definitely see the Cowboys leaving Crayton as the #2.