The organization would have you believe things are just fine. The fan base and media have been clamoring since Draft day the Cowboys failure to select a wide receiver will spell doom and gloom. Regardless of what side of the fence you're on, the fulcrum to the back and forth debate rests squarely on Cowboys' wide receiver Terry Glenn.
Terry Glenn's physical condition and his potential to play the 2008 season are paramount to any discussion regarding the Cowboys' wide receiver position. It's this uncertainty, coupled with Terry's age that had the masses screaming for a wide receiver in April's Draft, especially holding two picks in the first round. Surely, they would find a deep threat to compliment the earlier pick of Felix Jones. Unlike previous years, offense would dominate the selections in the early rounds. When the Cowboys moved up to grab South Florida's Mike Jenkins, many offensive-minded fans were running for windows.
The Jenkins selection was excellent and without debate. To that point in the first round, no wide receivers had been selected by any team, and most organizations, the Cowboys included, did not have any receivers on their Draft board with a first round grade. It didn't make sense to reach for a guy just to address the position. With Terry Glenn's future up in the air and Terrell Owens entering the last year of his contract, receiver was on the mind of the Cowboys' brass. Age of each alone made this a prudent order of business, and when you add in the injury factor, there was no real question why Jerry Jones set out to contact other teams regarding their disgruntled and/or contract-concluding receiving personnel. The calls didn't go out for spare parts or complimentary pieces; he was seeking a heavy hitter.
This should clearly tell us two things. The Cowboys have major questions about Terry Glenn's health and the likelihood of reinjuring the knee causing all the problems. Secondly, and this one is most concerning, the Cowboys brass don't know what they have at wide receiver within the current roster. There are doubts and "what if's" concerning the younger guys. Jerry, Wade and Jason Garrett are not comfortable enough with the consistency and reliance needed to turn the reigns over the likes of a Crayton, Hurd, Austin, Stanbach or any other competitor. Certainly not in a year when the run for the Super Bowl is expected. In actuality, it's that 3-4 year mark for Crayton, Hurd and Austin, and someone needs to step up to the challenge of being a full-time starter.
Before the young guys are discussed in detail with future projections, let's take a look at the veteran talent over which Jerry has jingled a few phones in the past few months. Prior to the individual assessments, it's still felt this avenue will be pursued thru training camp, during the pre-season games and right up until the September kick-off to the 2008 season. The additional 2009 draft picks stockpiled in April could entice and solidify a deal for a veteran receiver if hold-outs and/or contract issues linger through the summer. Opposing teams may have said no in April, but no one has thrown away the phone numbers.
First things first, Joe Horn? Um, no. Not only no, but hell no. All those factors why the Cowboys are looking for a complimentary receiver are also possessions of Joe Horn, plus his attitude is less than desirable. While talking about attitudes, this one factor alone eliminates Ocho Psycho from the equation as well. He has talent and skills out the whazoo, but Chad Johnson is rapidly approaching "certifiable" stature. Sybil needs to stay right where he's at. He's tailor-made for the Cincy Zoo.
Both Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Detroit's Roy Williams have tremendous appeal. Both keep flamboyance to bare bones minimums, each unassuming in their own way, and they've played "second fiddle" in their current venues. If needed, each could be a #1 target, and that would be the hope when Terrell Owens decides to call it a career. Speed and size are more than adequate. Each has been known to throw a block with a little authority; something Ocho Weirdo has trouble spelling. Stats reveal production, and each hails from a spotlight collegiate institution. Big games, on the national stage, are nothing new to these fellas. So, all things considered, it's basically a coin flip. The Cowboys Nation would have a problem with neither, but one would think Roy Williams might be the easier business proposition to pry.
How so, you ask?
Williams is in the last year of his contract, and to date, no extension or long-term deal has been struck. If Detroit plans to re-up Williams, how much will they be willing to offer? This is an organization who shelled out bazillion dollars to Charles Johnson, a wide receiver who was the #2 overall pick in the 2007 Draft. The team also s-canned offensive coordinator Mike Martz at the end of the 2007 season in favor of a power running attack. Lastly, while a veteran journeyman, Jon Kitna is no Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or dare it be said, Tony Romo. Roy is going to want big dollars, so how much will Detroit be willing to commit? Wouldn't they want to off-load professional contract #2, which is usually the heftiest of a pro career? Why not give that headache to another club, and in turn, get yourself something in return, mainly an additional first round pick in next year's Draft?
It would be ideal for the Cowboys to secure Roy Williams before that contract expires. Let Jerry work a little of that Cowboys mystique, lore and magic with a native Texan. Jerry may be able to knock a few nickels off what Williams could command in the open market, and there's always that carrot of being the #1 guy when T.O. starts modeling for his bronze bust. There would have to be great appeal for Roy Williams to come back to the Lone Star State, so look for the Cowboys to watch and listen to everything that goes on in Motown over the next couple of months. Besides, isn't Matt Millen overdue for another boneheaded move?
All this said, the best thing that could happen to the Cowboys is having Terry Glenn on the field for the 2008 campaign. Even though there have been some internal struggles to resolve the split contract/injury waiver matter, those obstacles can be overcome with relative ease. Terry Glenn realizes his best, if not his only, chance to play is for the Dallas Cowboys. Contract squabbles aside, Terry Glenn is one of those guys you pull for, and it would be tremendous if he could end his career with a championship ring. He's deserving of that honor, but if he can't "go" this year, then it's time for one of young guns to step forward in training camp.
The size/speed combo favors Miles Austin, and by all off-season accounts, he's brought a little something extra to the table. If the coaches are making note of vast differences from last year to this, that can only be a good thing. Apparently progress has also been achieved in the Sam Hurd, Patrick Crayton and Isiah Stanbach camps as well. All good news to Cowboys coaches and fans, but do any of these guys ultimately have what it takes to run opposite #81? While the Cowboys will have a lot of stories to follow in Oxnard, this may be the most compelling. Jason Garrett and Ray Sherman can only hope some cream comes rising to the top. In the NFL, teams can't always have a Pro Bowl player at every position. Many aspects restrict that, but there comes a time when you have to take a leap of faith.
It will come down to health, competition and desire. Who is most hungry and willing to sacrifice everything they have to give the Cowboys a legitimate Super Bowl shot? If in Vegas and asked to wager on the most likely scenario to surface for the 2008 season, the money would go down on either Miles Austin or Sam Hurd opening the season across from Terrell Owens. Based on what is known right now, it's probably the riskiest of all the options and possibilities, but for the further development and future of this organization, it's time for one of the kids to play.
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