Hands Full: Team Still With Young In-House WRs


IRVING, Texas -For the right price, it seems, the Cowboys would've been players in the Josh Gordon sweepstakes. The same was true of the Laurent Robinson sweepstakes four months ago.

In both instances, though, the team chose not to overextend, unwilling to pay the veteran an annual salary north of $6 million and certainly unable to give next year's first-round pick to assure themselves of getting the athletic but raw pass-catcher from Baylor in Thursday's Supplemental Draft.

The Cowboys and everyone else realize the team's wide receiver depth chart gets awfully thin and unproven after Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. However, the club has displayed some confidence this offseason in the players already on the roster.

At this point, only one contender for the No. 3 job has even one NFL catch to his name, fourth-year pro Kevin Ogletree, who was the favorite to back up Austin and Bryant last year, but was passed up when Robinson became available.

"Kevin's very capable, both as an inside receiver and as an outside receiver, and I think we've seen a lot of that throughout our offseason program, "head coach Jason Garrett said during the team's June minicamp. "We just need to see more of that when we get into training camp. Kevin, like a lot of young players who haven't played that much, really what you're looking for is consistency.

"He just has to continue taking advantage of the opportunities that he gets to prove to us that he's capable of being that third wide receiver."

While the position's other contenders may be sorely lacking for experience, a handful will enter training camp on roughly equal footing to Ogletree.

Andre Holmes, who spent most of last year on the Cowboys practice squad and has ideal size, is another favorite to win significant playing time. A player whose style is almost diametrically opposed to Holmes is in the mix as well, speedy 5-8 undrafted rookie Cole Beasley of SMU, who was impressive during on-field drills this offseason.

Also sure to get an opportunity in training camp are Dwayne Harris, the team's 2011 sixth-round pick, Danny Coale, their fifth-rounder this spring who broke his foot during an OTA practice and missed most of the offseason, as well as Raymond Radway, who impressed during camp last year before landing on injured reserve. The Cowboys have three other undrafted free agents who will compete for a roster spot, Saalim Hakim, Tim Benford and Donovan Kemp.

Though no one with the Cowboys will totally rule out a move, team Vice President Stephen Jones said he believes the Cowboys already have the talent at wide receiver to be able to go without bringing in an additional veteran.

"Still, I think everybody feels like we ought to keep our eyes open, and I think we should, too, if there's somebody that's obviously better than what we have," Jones said. "We've got some receivers out there that are doing a nice job. Each one of them has their qualities. But personally I think it might just happen out of this group."

Of course, the Cowboys' decision-makers reserve the right to change their minds. Robinson, for instance, was signed on Sept. 7 of last year, released six days later then brought back a week after that. He went on to catch 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns, leaving his replacement with big shoes to fill.

"What we try to do is evaluate our team and evaluate the people who might be available to come to our team," Garrett said. "That happens in the draft, that happens in free agency, and sometimes people have this feeling that free agency ends in March. Free agency continues. You're really just trying to see who's out there and who might help you, really throughout our team . . . we'll continue to look at that position just like every position we have on our team, and see who's out there and see who might be able to make us better."

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