INDIANPOLIS– It's too soon to rule anything out, but it seems like a good bet the Cowboys might need to prepare for life without Terrance Williams.
The 27-year-old receiver is set to hit free agency next week, and the Cowboys seem unlikely to win a bidding war for his services. Williams isn't exactly a Pro Bowler, but his versatility and his big-play ability should fetch a solid price when the time comes.
It's hard to predict the future, but the Cowboys are certainly covering their bases in the event of Williams' departure, if Friday was any indication. This year's wide receiver class met with reporters on Friday afternoon, and plenty of them have been having conversations with the Cowboys.
"I had the chance to meet with those guys and they stood out to me," said Oklahoma receiver DeDe Westbrook. "Some things are going on, and they were asking me how do I think I would fit beside Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant."
Westbrook is a Texas native, a Biletnikoff Award winner and a Heisman Trophy finalist, so any conversation between he and the Cowboys is bound to turn heads. But with just 60 formal interviews allowed per team, the fact that they're vetting plenty of wide outs seems telling.
"Really, they were just asking me about the playbook," said Baylor receiver KD Cannon. "Coming from Baylor, we really just wasn't told to learn a lot of stuff. I just told them I can learn anything – anything you put in my way, I can learn it."[embeddedad0]
The meetings will go on, too, given that the Combine doesn't end until Monday. West Virginia speedster Shelton Gibson also said he has a meeting with the Cowboys on Friday night. After he does that, he wants to break Chris Johnson's Combine record in the 40-yard dash – which would earn him a free island courtesy of Adidas.
"I'm going for the island, that's how I feel," Shelton said. "It's a 4.23, right? I feel like anything can happen."
All of this sounds good for the Cowboys' purposes. Westbrook and Cannon aren't expected to be first-round picks, which gives Dallas a far better chance of finding them in the draft. But their due diligence goes all the way up the board, as they're scheduled for a formal meeting with Clemson wide out Mike Williams – widely-regarded as the top receiver in the draft.
"They've got Dez Bryant – another good receiver," Williams said. "You could be on the other side of him. That would be good."
First things first, the Cowboys have to get through free agency – which opens in earnest on Wednesday. But in the event that Terrance Williams heads elsewhere in 2017, it certainly looks like the Cowboys will be prepared for the possibility.