Thursday, August 18, 2011
Do the Cowboys really need a third WR?
By Dan Graziano
IRVING, Texas -- On Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys practiced outside, in the triple-digit Texas heat, for the first time this training camp. They practiced against another team -- their offense going against the San Diego Chargers' defense and vice-versa with the Chargers in town in advance of Sunday's preseason game. (Yeah, Sunday. Remember, that's a change from the original schedule.) And with Miles Austin sidelined by a hamstring injury, Kevin Ogletree got a little more work than usual.
"He's done a lot of good things," coach Jason Garrett said. "He shows you on a daily basis that he's a guy who can win as a route-runner in this league, both as an outside receiver and inside receiver. Like a lot of our younger players, Kevin shows you flashes and needs to do it on a more consistent basis."
If he does, Ogletree has a good chance to be the Cowboys' No. 3 receiver behind Austin and Dez Bryant. That's because the team doesn't seem inclined, at this point, to go out on the market and find someone for that role. And that's because the "No. 3 receiver" really isn't going to be the No. 3 receiver on the Cowboys this year. Not with Jason Witten, who's caught 94 balls in each of the past two seasons, and the rest of the depth they have at tight end able to handle blocking duties while Witten lines up in the slot. Not with Felix Jones, who caught 48 balls last year, looking like the clear starter at running back.
There are concerns here in Cowboys camp, and we'll be getting to those later today and in the coming days. Can they find the right offensive line mix? Are the defensive ends good enough? Can they get healthy enough in the secondary by the time the season starts? But I don't think No. 3 receiver is one of the really big worries in the minds of the people running the Cowboys right now. And given the number and quality of options they have on offense, I don't think it needs to be.