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Criteria For Adding A Veteran No. 3 WR

IRVING, Texas --The Cowboys have committed to a youthful competition in training camp for their third wide receiver spot, but things could change by September. Just look at last year, when they signed Laurent Robinson to the veteran minimum when no youngsters separated from the pack in preseason.

Right now the club wants every backup rep going to Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris, Kevin Ogletree, Raymond Radway, Tim Benford, Cole Beasley and Danny Coale when he gets healthy. There's a chance the Cowboys wind up using a committee approach, or they could find a free agent fit like Robinson to play behind starters Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.

Already, as usual, the club has been linked to a number of veteran possibilities: Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, Chad Ochocinco (now with the Dolphins), Jacoby Jones (now with the Ravens) and Percy Harvin (still with the Vikings). Those are some good thoughts, but a deeper look shows reasons for holding off.

For a guy like Edwards, you've got to consider the injuries that essentially wiped out his 2011 season. Is he still the same player? Same with Burress and Ochocinco, now in their mid-30s. It's not 2007 anymore.

If the Cowboys get serious about finding more experience, they should look for a veteran who still has some upside, just like Robinson last year.

Jones might fit that mold, and he also adds production in the return game. But he never had a breakout, consistent year at receiver for the Texans, and I can understand the Cowboys choosing to give reps to their young guys in that scenario.

As for Harvin, pursuing him might make sense if the Vikings announced their intentions to trade him. So far it's all coming from Harvin. Plus, is he comfortable dropping from No. 1 to No. 3 on the depth chart? Would the Cowboys re-sign him to a big contract after 2013 if they have long-term plans for Austin and Bryant?

A veteran is still a possibility, and the safe route is to find one considering Austin and Bryant missed a combined seven games last year.

But it has to make sense, and so far some of these options haven't made much.

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