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Sunday, March 10, 2013
Free-agency series: Wide receivers

By Calvin Watkins

Ninth in a 10-part series breaking down the Cowboys' free-agency needs, position by position:

Wide receivers


Who’s on the roster: Anthony Armstrong, Miles Austin, Cole Beasley, Tim Benford, Dez Bryant, Danny Coale, Jared Green, Dwayne Harris and Carlton Mitchell.

Analysis: Bryant emerged last season as one of the top weapons on offense. It will be interesting to see how his relationship with new receivers coach Derek Dooley develops. Bryant had solid relationships with previous receivers coaches Ray Sherman and Jimmy Robinson. Austin continues to frustrate the Cowboys with his nagging leg injuries, but he's a force when healthy. Austin coming up with zero catches in both Washington Redskins games last season is puzzling and can't happen again against an NFC East rival. Harris gained more playing time late in the season when Kevin Ogletree dealt with injuries and inconsistent play. Beasley has a solid chance to become a slot receiver who makes plays.

NFL free agents of interest: Ogletree, Lee Evans and Kassim Osgood.

Need meter: 3. The Cowboys don't need a veteran receiver to stunt the growth of their younger players. If the team wants a veteran, maybe Ogletree returns and perhaps Osgood can be picked up and contribute on special teams. But with talented players like Bryant, Austin and Harris improving, there shouldn't be a big need at this position. But it wouldn't be a bad idea to draft a receiver as a safety net in case Harris doesn't develop as hoped or Austin's injury issues crop up again.