Red Zone Ability A Plus For Third Wide Out

In losing Laurent Robinson to Jacksonville, the Cowboys obviously have a sizeable void to fill on the depth chart behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.

One of the great things about Robinson was that he displayed starter ability in 2011, enough that the Cowboys didn't take a huge step back when Austin was out with his various hamstring injuries. If everyone were healthy, though, he was still going to be this team's third receiver, and the Cowboys couldn't afford to pay the going rate for Robinson just to have him as a backup.

Of course, the third receiver is just one play away from being a starter, but the Cowboys have lived through that kind of crisis at wide out before. Back in 2007, Terry Glenn went down with a knee injury in training camp, elevating Patrick Crayton to a starting job.

Crayton went on to have a career year as the No. 2 to Terrell Owens, catching 50 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns and the Cowboys offense set franchise records. Now that Robinson's gone and Crayton is a free agent after his two seasons in San Diego, the idea has been tossed around in a few circles that bringing Crayton back would make some sense.

Asked about this exact possibility on Twitter Thursday, Crayton's reply was simply "im open."

The issue for the Cowboys is that Crayton is probably not open often enough in the part of the field where the receiving corps needs the most help. Robinson was crucial to the offense's improvement in the red zone last year.

Eight of Robinson's 11 scores came from inside the opponents' 20-yard line. His size and ability to find openings in the end zone allowed the Cowboys to gradually rise from 31st in red zone scoring after five games to 20th by the end of the year.

Crayton scored only one touchdown in each of his seasons with the Chargers. Kevin Ogletree, who the Cowboys re-signed earlier in March, has never scored a touchdown, but is the only third receiver candidate currently on the roster with even one NFL catch.

The Cowboys continue to hype Andre Holmes, who was undrafted last year and spent most of the season on the practice squad. At 6-5, he has the potential to be a factor in the shortened field, but the club would probably be wise to add another big receiver to the stable in the draft or free agency, if possible.

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