Star Evaluation: Rebound Year For Allen Hurns?


With free agency looming in March, roster turnover isn't far away. However, the majority of the 2019 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, will feature players who are currently under contract for next season, analyzing their past season and their future prospects.

Today, we continue the series with wide receiver Allen Hurns.
* What's Been Good:* Liked and respected by his coaches and teammates, Hurns did a lot of the same things that Terrance Williams brought to the table in recent years. Hurns can play all three receiver positions, he works to get open and he's a willing and productive blocker. The Cowboys tried a receiver rotation heavily featuring Hurns until Amari Cooper's midseason arrival. Hurns' snaps dropped significantly down the stretch, but he found a way to make some timely plays in key games. He finished fourth among Cowboys receivers with 20 catches for 295 yards and 2 touchdowns.
What's Been Bad: Hurns' season-ending ankle dislocation in the wild-card round against Seattle, obviously. Watching him carted off the AT&T Stadium turf in tears was difficult for fans, teammates and opponents alike. But the surgery went well, and the 27-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

2018 Highlight: How about two big-time catches in the first true "must-win game" of the season, Week 9 at Philadelphia? In the final minute of the first half, his 17-yard reception set up a 1-yard touchdown by Dak Prescott. Then in the fourth quarter, Ezekiel Elliott scored the deciding 1-yard touchdown two plays after Hurns converted third-and-8 with a 23-yard catch inside Philly's 10-yard line. Those timely plays helped Dallas start its five-game win streak.

What's Next: Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Hurns could help in the slot next season, particularly if the club is unable to re-sign Cole Beasley. Hurns' outlook for a healthy 2019 return looks good. "We do see him playing football this year. I don't think there's any question about that," head coach Jason Garrett said. "The surgery was clean and the rehab has been good up to this point."

Allen Hurns' season ended with a devastating injury in the playoffs, but the Cowboys are confident he'll work his way back in 2019.

Bryan Broaddus' Bottom Line: Allen Hurns was signed last season as a replacement for Dez Bryant. In studying his game, I thought he could have been a suitable replacement for Bryant if he was able to generate similar numbers to what Bryant had in his final season with the club. Unfortunately for Hurns and the club those numbers were not there which forced the front office to have to look in a different direction. Was Hurns a wasted signing? Not at all but there is nothing spectacular about his game and to be honest I over evaluated what he could have done here. What I will say about his game is that when he did get those opportunities to make plays, he did deliver. If you evaluate his targets to his receptions it wasn't a poor season for him. There is something comforting to a staff to know that they have a player who can line up at several positions and still make reliable plays which Hurns was able to do. The front office thought enough of him to pick up his option for 2019 despite coming off a major ankle injury he suffered in the Seattle game. Hurns is already back on the field and working with Britt Brown in order to get ready for the season which is a great sign.