With Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner all free agents, as well as Michael Gallup, who will be out at least a portion of next year, one thing is certain the wide receiver room will have some new faces in it. Dallas might be able to get Gallup to return on a 1-year deal so he can stay work with team doctors and return to a system he knows. However, free agency will dictate that since Gallup will not be available to start the season. The other key guy is Cedrick Wilson who is certain to get an offer from another NFL team that he cannot refuse. The key decision for the Cowboys will be who takes the third receiver spot in 2022. I’m sure Simi Fehoko will get the shot to get the Noah Brown snaps but adding a 3rd receiver is a crucial decision this off-season. (One note NFL is tight on what YouTube videos you can embeed so for Smith and Reynolds I linked their names to NFL videos).
As we all know the Cowboys are no longer (if they ever were) big spenders on other team’s free agents instead they would rather keep as many of their own guys and add the bargain deals (just look at their safety collection last year). With that in mind, I have started to dig through the information out there and have come up with a list of five players that might fit that role.
1. Tre’quan Smith—New Orleans Saints The cap strapped Saints will be letting people walk that they likely would want back but it just can’t happen. So, their loss could be a gain for the Cowboys. Smith will be 26 next season and has the size, at 6-2 and about 200 pounds, so he can slide into the Gallup role and flourish in the system. Smith’s numbers are not overly impressive but averaging 28 receptions along with his size, youth, and average yards per reception make him a close to perfect type of player to replace Gallup as a starter. A three-year deal around 5.5 million works for me.
2. Adam Humphries—WashingtonAn under the radar type of player that is a niche guy. If you need an across the middle type of player to keep the chains moving (something that Cole Beasley perfected for Dallas for many years) Adam is your man. He had 41 receptions this past season on an anemic offense in Washington. He was the Hunter Renfrow of the Clemson offense before Hunter.
He’ll be 29 by the start of next season. He’s 5-11 and has punt and kick returning experience. His best year was 76 receptions in 2018. He has average 45 receptions throughout his career without ever be a top one or two option and without having a top QB under center. His deal last year with Washington was for 1 year at 1.19 million but I would offer a nice two-year deal at 3.5 million a year. The idea being while you can draft a rookie next year on day 2 or 3, any of those guys taken rounds two through four certainly need a learning curve.
3. Zay Jones—Las Vegas Raiders
Now if the goal is to bring a bridge player while Michael Gallup recovers with the potential of filling that role permanently should Gallup move on then Zay is a very intriguing candidate. Similar in size to Gallup at 6-2 and some of the same abilities as he was able to real in 70 receptions this year while become a reliable option for the LV Raiders. Zay is a legacy prospect with his dad, Robert, a member of the last Cowboys Super Bowl and he was born in Dallas. He’ll be 27 by the start of next season and assuming his past legal issues are all behind he would be an interesting guy to put a nice two deal at five million a year. Has averaged 34 receptions a year in his career.
At 6-3 Reynolds would certainly fill the big target that the offense will miss with Gallup’s status in limbo. Josh was in Detroit last year on a 1 year deal for 1.75 million after being released from the Titans during the season on a mutual decision. Reynolds has 29 receptions and a pair of touchdowns but should be looking for a more established role on a team in need of wide receiver support. A one year 3 million dollar deal should work for both parties in 2022.
Part of my targeting and research was to go after receivers that were on a team that either missed the playoff, has a coaching change occurring or in some cases both. Seems that those type of players often fall through the cracks as the new regime has their targets and the guys the past staff preferred don’t always match. I would love to hear any other suggestions so please share your thoughts.