Do Cowboys need a veteran WR?
They don't need a name, but they need someone
OXNARD, Calif. -- Who will be the Dallas Cowboys' third receiver this season?
That's one of the questions asked most often during this training camp. The answer, as was the case for last season's team at this time a year ago, probably isn't on the roster.
It's most likely a matter of when, not if, the Cowboys pick up a better option off the waiver wire. They already tried to claim Dezmon Briscoe, but he didn't get past the Washington Redskins in the waiver's pecking order. They also put in a fourth-round bid in the supplemental draft on Josh Gordon, only to have the Cleveland Browns snatch him up in the second round.
Expect the Cowboys to continue to target young receivers with upside instead of older receivers who have put up big numbers in the past but are well past their prime.
And, no, Plaxico Burress isn't the kind of guy that Jason Garrett wants on his roster.
The Cowboys are looking for another Laurent Robinson -- a relatively young receiver with talent whose career hasn't blossomed elsewhere for whatever reason. They're looking for a receiver who can help them win right now and could have a bright future with the Cowboys.
The odds of them lucking into another waiver-wire pickup who produces 11 touchdowns, as Robinson did before jumping to Jacksonville for big money, are extremely slim. They're counting on Miles Austin and Dez Bryant to stay healthy and perform up to their Pro Bowl potential, which means they'll just need a third receiver who can be reliable and catch about 35 passes.
They don't need another Robinson. They just need an upgrade over the reserve receiver options on the roster right now.
Cowboys' No. 3 is already on roster
There's a reason why Jimmy Robinson was hired away from the Green Bay Packers. He's considered one of the better position coaches in the league and there's hope he'll develop Andre Holmes, Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, Danny Coale, Raymond Radway or some other young receiver into the No. 3 wideout.
Last season, the scouting department did a nice job finding Laurent Robinson after the coaches lost confidence in Ogletree's abilities. Finding another veteran like Robinson will be difficult.
Braylon Edwards just signed with the Seattle Seahawks and his attitude and inconsistency probably scared the Cowboys. Same goes for Plaxico Burress, Patrick Crayton and Terrell Owens. Not going to happen. T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Jerheme Urban don't fit either.
The best thing to do is develop a young receiver for the future.
Holmes failed his conditioning test on Sunday, so he's off to a slow start. But Harris had a strong second day of practice. Ogletree also has looked pretty good in the early stages of camp. Radway impressed the coaches last season and had a roster spot until he fractured his leg in the final preseason game.
Robinson has done wonders with young players in Green Bay and with the New York Giants, so there's no reason to believe he can't do the same here. The Cowboys have two very good veteran quarterbacks in Tony Romo and Kyle Orton, who will push the young receivers.
The Cowboys can't afford to keep asking veterans for help, time and time again. At some point you have to make sure your young players become something. Over the next month, the Cowboys need to discover this.
The money needed to pick up a veteran, while it might be the minimum, probably isn't worth it at this stage.
Let the kids play.
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