WR a position of strength for Cowboys

As it stands Tuesday, Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams are the starting wide receivers for the Dallas Cowboys.

Team officials don't believe that's a bad thing.

Bryant enters his fifth season coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance and Williams emerged as a solid No. 3 wideout behind Miles Austin and Bryant last season.

But Austin is gone, released in a salary cap move, and while coach Jason Garrett said he's open to the veteran's return, it appears doubtful.

"I think as players get older, sometimes people wait," said team executive Stephen Jones, who expressed surprise that Austin was still a free agent. "Maybe Miles hasn’t signed because he decided, ‘Hey, I’m not ready to sign yet.' Some of these guys as decided as they get older that they want to wait and look at everything, especially if there’s not an offer out there that blows them away."

The Cowboys had some interest in a veteran wide receiver during the early stages of the free-agency period, but wanted to upgrade their defensive line first.

Nate Burleson, who worked with Scott Linehan in Detroit, was on the market before signing a deal with Cleveland.

In the draft, the Cowboys selected Devin Street from Pittsburgh to compete with Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver.

The Cowboys note Street doesn’t have blazing speed, however, he’s a good route runner and has excellent hands. Wide receivers coach Derek Dooley went to Pittsburgh to workout Street and came away impressed.

When the 2014 season starts, the Cowboys will have a very young receiving corps, which is a different vibe than we’ve seen in previous seasons.

The Cowboys have had at least one veteran in their 30s from Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams. But now, things are on Bryant, who becomes the 25-year-old leader of the group.

During the voluntary offseason workouts, Bryant has been a called a vocal leader during the weight lifting and running sessions at Valley Ranch. Team officials never want to stifle a player’s voice, and Bryant is one who speaks his mind in a positive way.

This is a critical year for this group, seeing that Bryant is entering the final year of his deal and turning into one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Williams was third on the team in yards (736) and touchdowns (five) last year, and after a few rookie mistakes, proved he could become a trusted player for quarterback Tony Romo. Beasley and Harris are solid backup receivers when used properly. Harris has more value as a returner while Bealsey is a solid receiver from the slot.

And while the Cowboys are looking to get younger at many positions, wide receiver not only does so, but could be a position of strength this upcoming season.