The Cowboys have a lot of receivers. They don’t have a No. 1 receiver.
The moment Dez Bryant walked out the door, the Cowboys became a wide receiver by committee.
“I feel that we have been true to the thought that we were going to throw the ball in a lot of different ways, not necessarily feature going to your number one receiver, that’s a dominant receiver,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
For the first time since 2009, the Cowboys don’t have Bryant as their No. 1 receiver. The Cowboys’ new receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, convinced the Cowboys to sign one of his former players, Deonte Thompson. Dallas also signed Allen Hurns, who Jacksonville cut after he missed 11 games with injuries the past two seasons.
Tavon Austin, whom the Cowboys traded for on the final day of the draft, is listed as a receiver, though the Cowboys will use him in multiple roles as their web back. They drafted Colorado State’s Michael Gallup in the third round.
Dak Prescott will have options, just not a No. 1 option.
“I do think obviously when you lose a player like Dez, and what he’s brought to the field throughout his career,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We are remaking our receiving room, if you will, including the coach. There was obviously some focus there, and as we’ve said from day one, we wanted to create a competitive situation there. I do think we wanted to do things as Jerry has said and Jason [Garrett] has said, that are Dak- friendly. We want to surround him with good players in a competitive situation so we can have the success that we think we can have. We think in terms of being able to loosen up the defense and keeping them honest so that we can have the running game there that people do respect. We don’t want them to be able to overplay that part of our game.”
The top receiver prosepcts, D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley, were on the board when the Cowboys selected 19th overall. But Jerry Jones admitted a rookie receiver wasn’t going to replace Bryant as the team’s No. 1 receiver, at least not in 2018, so they opted to draft linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
“One way or the other this year, we weren’t going to have the elite one receiver,” Jerry Jones said. “So, we didn’t see that we could get to an elite one receiver, even by taking one of those top two or three receivers and developing them. We were going to have to do it by committee or numbers, or by scheme. We were going to have to make the big plays, threaten speed, and do it by scheme. Well, I think this draft represented that.”