The Cowboys released their No. 1 receiver in the offseason. Dez Bryant‘s departure has left Dallas with Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin at the position, with the six wideouts expected to share the catches this season.
“I don’t see deficiencies. I see strengths in the numbers,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Thursday. “I don’t like the term committee of receivers or whatever. The group as a whole I think will be our strength. I think all of them add significant strengths to our offense. They’re going to play significant snaps. Not just three guys. I think you’ll see four or five, even maybe six potentially play in games this year. So it’ll be fun to watch those guys grow and develop in our system.”
Cowboys fans wonder how their team can possibly win without a go-to guy, but Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman doesn’t expect the Cowboys to miss the Bryant of last year. Bryant did not have a 100-yard game in 2017, making 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.
“The Dez from 2017 I don’t think they will miss at all,” Aikman said during a conference with local reporters leading up his broadcast of Sunday’s season opener, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “No matter who they’ve got coaching the receivers. I don’t think Dez was a threat for most, it not all, of last year. When you get one-on-one looks, no matter who you are as a receiver, that is what you are looking for as a quarterback, and if you can’t beat defenders one on one, then you simply can’t play in the NFL.”
It’s much the same sentiment expressed by the Cowboys front office — specifically Will McClay and Stephen Jones — in explaining the team’s decision to move on from Bryant.
Bryant remains unemployed, with only the Ravens and the Browns offering him a contract.
But Cleveland could renew its interest next week when vested veteran deals are no longer guaranteed for the entire season.