Lack of experience hurting at wideout

December, 29, 2010
12/29/10
11:18
AM ET
The Cowboys have some issues at the wide receiver position heading into the regular season finale at Philadelphia.

Miles Austin is the only healthy wideout with experience.

As Todd Archer pointed out, Sam Hurd (headaches), Roy E. Williams (groin) and Jesse Holley (knee) have some health issues. It's forced the team to sign Jeff Moturi to the practice squad just so the team can get through practice this week.

But injuries have bothered this unit all season and you have to wonder if the organization made the right decision in getting rid of Patrick Crayton.

When the team traded Crayton to the San Diego Chargers before the start of the year, the theory was rookie Dez Bryant, second-year man Kevin Ogletree and Hurd would get more playing time.

Bryant was a fantastic player for the Cowboys but injuries and his inability to grasp the playbook hampered his development. He was shutdown after the Colts game with a fractured lower leg. Yet, Bryant is going to be a force in this league.

However, Ogletree and Hurd didn't do much with their chances. Yes Bryant took snaps away from both, but after Bryant went down, there were about two catches Hurd didn't make in games he normally does in training camp.

Ogletree, before he went out for the season with a big toe injury, hadn't caught a pass until Dec. 12 vs. the Eagles. He finished that game with three catches for 34 yards. He spent seven weeks inactive as the Cowboys went with Holley because of his ability to play special teams. But interim coach Jason Garrett said Ogletree has improved as a receiver by his practice habits.

One would think Williams would pick up the slack, but after 18 catches the first four weeks of the year, Williams compiled 18 catches the next 10 weeks. Some of it could be the defense and some of it could be Garrett's inability to get him the ball.

Now as the Cowboys enter their final game in a season going nowhere, Garrett is left with Austin, Manny Johnson and Teddy Williams as the healthy receivers.

We believe Hurd will be fine once the headaches stop, but Williams has struggled with his groin injury and is questionable for the Eagles game. Teddy Williams, who never played college football before, was signed as a cornerback then moved to wide receiver in the last month.

We're not saying the Cowboys should have kept Crayton, who injured his wrist with the Chargers a few weeks ago, but the lack of experience at this position is hurting right now.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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