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Position Battles: Return Game Should Factor Into Fierce Competition at WR

Editor's Note: The NFL Draft has come and gone. Now it's time to see what the Cowboys have to work with. The roster is nearly full and that should mean a healthy dose of competition – at all positions. Over the next two weeks, the writers of will focus on each position to find the most intriguing battles as we head into the offseason practices. Today, we start the series with wide receiver.

Battle To Watch: The most interesting pick from the offensive side of the ball was getting Ryan Switzer in the fourth round. While he's instantly compared to Cole Beasley, that won't be his competition right now. Because he can be a change-of-pace receiver, coupled with his ability to return punts, Switzer should be competing with third-year pro Lucky Whitehead. The Cowboys have wanted improvement in the return game and while Whitehead has provided some occasional spark on offense, nothing has really been down the field, aside from one play in Green Bay. One on hand, you can say a rookie will have a hard time beating out a player entering his third season. On the other, being a fourth-round pick will certainly push him to the front of the line in terms of reps. Switzer will get every chance to get on the field and it could be at the expense of Whitehead.[embeddedad0]

Don't Forget About: The Cowboys signed Brice Butler to just a one-year, $800,000 deal at the start of free agency. That doesn't exactly guarantee him a spot if someone can beat him out. A player such as Andy Jones, who spent all of last year on the practice squad. By the end of the season, Jones apparently had shown huge improvement on the scout team and could be ready to showcase his skills this summer. Butler might get some heat from rookie Noah Brown, a big-bodied receiver who could be a special teams performer, something Butler doesn't possess. Considering that Dez, Beasley and Terrance Williams aren't used on special teams, it's tough to get four receivers on the game-day roster that aren't involved in special teams.

Bubble Watch: It's barely May so it's very early in the game. Every player has a chance to win a spot and even the most experienced players will have to earn their spot. But for now, here's how the depth chart stands:


Dez Bryant

Terrance Williams

Cole Beasley


Brice Butler

Ryan Switzer

Lucky Whitehead

Andy Jones

Noah Brown

Long Shots:

Quincy McDuffie

Uzoma Nwachukwu

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