Can the Dallas Cowboys Win Without a No. 1 Wide Receiver?

After his rookie season of 2016, it appeared that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had the world by the tail.

The fourth-rounder out of Mississippi State, thrown into the starting lineup after Tony Romo was injured in the preseason, completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Prescott won the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award, made the Pro Bowl and helped the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.

The next season wasn’t quite as spectacular—Prescott’s completion percentage fell to 62.9, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio fell to 22-13 as injuries and suspensions took their toll on Dallas’ offensive roster—but things were still looking pretty good.

Then, the 2018 offseason happened. nfl jerseys china cheap Tight end Jason Witten retired after a 15-year career that could see him in the Hall of Fame someday. The team also released receiver Dez Bryant in April in a move that saved $8.5 million in 2018 salary cap space, per OverTheCap.com. And with that, Prescott’s two top receivers were out the door.

These things happen in the NFL. What makes the difference in the seasons to come is how a team’s front office responds to such defections. And it’s tough to argue that the Cowboys’ front office set Prescott up for optimal success going into his third season. They acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns with a two-year, $12 million contract in free agency. They also signed ex-Buffalo Bills receiver Deonte Thompson, who put up decent numbers in Buffalo’s dysfunctional 2017 offense, to a one-year, $2.5 million deal. where to buy nfl jerseys And they selected Colorado State receiver Michael Gallup in the third round of the draft.

Adding these players to a receiver corps that had slot man Cole Beasley and outside receiver Terrance Williams probably won’t strike fear into the hearts of too many enemy defenses. One thing is for sure: As the group stands now, with what we know about it, it’s clear that the Cowboys don’t have what you’d call a No. 1 receiver in a traditional sense—that receiver who can go up against the NFL’s best defenders and come out winning more often than not.

If Prescott is concerned about the talent drain, he’s not letting on.womens nfl jerseys cheap

“I don’t know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver,” Prescott recently told Pro Football Talk. “It’s about getting the ball out, spreading the ball around, keeping the defense on its toes. … Me and these young guys have been here before we even started OTAs, getting that timing down so we can get in OTAs and have good feel for each other and now with the personalized nfl jerseys defense in front of us, grow off of that and grow from what we’ve already accomplished. That’s the best thing I can do.”

That’s all well and good to say in the preseason, but reality may bite when the Cowboys hit the field. Hurns is a good high-volume receiver both outside and in the slot, but he doesn’t have the deep speed required to break coverages apart. He’s not been able to match the 10-touchdown season he put together in 2015. Williams is a potentially gifted outside receiver who has seen his yards per catch drop nfl jersey sale in each of the last four seasons, even as his catch rate has risen. Beasley is a productive slot receiver, but at 5’8″ and 180 pounds, that’s all he is—you’re not going to see him smoking nfl official jersey Aqib Talib outside on a deep vertical route. And to replace Witten, the Cowboys have a committee of Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, Rico Gathers and fourth-round rookie Dalton Schultz. Not exactly a Murderers’ Row.