Monday, May 17, 2010

Does There Have to Be a #1 Receiver?

The Cowboys are stacked at wide receiver. It is obvious. Miles Austin broke out last season to establish himself as a starter and potentially a star player. Roy Williams still hasn't lived up to his billing but he puts fear in the defense whether you want to admit that or not. And Dez Bryant is probably the most athletically gifted receiver of the three. Add Kevin Ogletree, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd into the mix and there are more receivers than the Cowboys need on the roster. I realize Patrick Crayton is staying away from OTA's, but he will be a Cowboy next year unless the Cowboys decide they don't want him anymore. He has no leverage.

The thing that a lot of people need to realize ahead of time is that the Cowboys have a great problem. None of the receivers are going to have 100 receptions. There are so many options in the passing game that they can't get the ball to everyone all the time. The defenses are going to be constantly under pressure as long as the offensive line can give Tony Romo a little time. But don't expect big numbers from any particular player in the passing game except maybe Jason Witten.

People want to label Roy Williams a bust and really he has been so far. But part of the problem with Roy is that Romo has so many options it is easy to lose favor in the offensive scheme. If Romo doesn't have confidence in you he will just move on to the next guy because there are usually multiple open receivers on any given play. And Tony's options will only increase as Dez Bryant gets integrated into the offense.

I think if you really felt the need to put a #1 label on a wide receiver it would be Miles Austin. But I would be willing to bet that #1 receiver position will rotate between Miles Austin, Roy Williams, and Dez Bryant depending on matchups and defensive schemes. And that is a good thing. It prevents the defense from focusing on shutting down any one player and stopping the offense.

A lot of people want to run Roy Williams out of Dallas. I want him here. Like I said earlier he gets the attention of the defense whether you want to admit that or not. He did score seven TD's last year even with his limited receptions so he is a target in the red zone. And I view him as a first down machine along with Jason Witten in the passing game.

In a perfect world scenario I view the wide receivers like this. Miles Austin is the all-around guy for now. He can go deep, catch crossing routes, run after the catch, and make yards on the screens. Roy is the first down guy and the red zone target. Dez is going to be a big play guy at least early in his career. Rookie receivers have a hard time adjusting to the complexity of an NFL offense but his talent will give him the ability to make big plays. Kevin Ogletree is great on the quick screens and catches everything thrown his way. He might end up moving inside to the slot depending on how things play out with Patrick Crayton.

It is entirely possible that the top wide receiver will only have 60-70 receptions. The only "go-to guy" will probably still be Jason Witten. The #1 wide receiver will be determined week by week. I think Miles Austin is the lead guy but I really don't that title will have much meaning if the offense runs like it should.


  1. Hey, just wanted to let you know I really like the blog! Everytime I sift through the comments on I tend to get a little discouraged, if you can believe that lol. But your posts tend to make a lot of sense out of a lot of non-sense. Keep up the good insight!

  2. I couldn't agree more!! This is exactly how I feel about the WR position going into this year!! Well said!

  3. I think we will be seeing ALOT more three wide sets this year. Even more so if marty b doesn't show up early in the season. or even play split back with dez + felix coming out of back field would be a nice one shot trick fact i think ill go use it on madden now.

  4. Well put. I think the Cowboy who puts up the best numbers next year is Felix Jones