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Cowboys turn offseason question marks at wide receiver into strength

The Dallas Cowboys head into the summer with an unrivaled group of pass catchers after finding emphatic answers to their offseason questions at the position
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Things have a funny way of working out sometimes. The Dallas Cowboys came into the offseason with talent, but questions about their wide receivers after the passing attack blossomed during the 2019 season.

Amari Cooper was the best WR on the team, but he didn’t have a contract extension before hitting the open market. Randall Cobb, a key addition from last offseason, was set to test the market as well. The other part of the big three, Michael Gallup, was the only one guaranteed to return.

Things progressed quickly as spring arrived. Cooper was free to fly the coop at the start of free agency. After briefly flirting with other teams, including division rivals Washington, Cooper came back to Dallas on a $100 million deal to give quarterback Dak Prescott a sigh of relief.

The worry over Cooper leaving turned into joy when he returned, but that relief wouldn’t last long. Cobb signed with the Houston Texans, on a deal the Cowboys were never going to match. The price of $27 million, with $18.75 million in guarantees over three years was too expensive and Dallas was forced to look elsewhere for their slot guy.

Emmanuel Sanders was the next receiver that got fans excited. The former SMU product would’ve been a great fit with his home state team, but the Cowboys decided he was too expensive as well.

The options to replace Cobb’s production with a competent veteran WR just weren’t there on the open market. The well was drying up at receiver and Cowboys fans were beginning to panic. Despite this being one of the best receiver drafts in years, it was hard to be optimistic about Dallas’ third WR options.

There were also rumors that the Cowboys weren’t willing to take a receiver in the first round because of their other needs, especially on defense.

Draft day arrived and the Cowboys still had no answer to their third receiver problem. The drama only intensified when the team was on the clock with their top WR still on the board. So too was the defensive help that the Cowboys desperately needed. What would Dallas, Will McClay, Jerry and Stephen Jones do?

We know how it all played out. The Cowboys drafted WR CeeDee Lamb and all of the angst of the months leading up to the draft was gone.

It seemed like a rocky road, but things played out perfectly for the Cowboys. At one point the offense was in a danger zone. Cooper wasn’t sure to return and Cobb was on the open market, so it was Gallup and a bunch of unheralded guys at the position.

With Cooper back in the fold, the selection of Lamb made everything alright. If the Cowboys had re-signed Cobb or added Sanders, it’s highly unlikely they would have used their first pick to select Lamb, and if they don’t draft the stud receiving prospect, perhaps the Eagles wind up with him. That would not have gone over well with Cowboys fans.

It all came up roses for the Cowboys, who stayed patient and wound up with the youngest, cheapest, and best option for their third wideout. The best trio of receivers in the NFL now resides in Dallas.

Do you think the Cowboys have the best wide receiver group in football? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.

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