Few NFL teams have the one-two punch at wide receiver like the Dallas Cowboys. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin combined to record over 2,300 receiving yards in 2012. With the team set at the starting position, a few players will battle for the No.3 spot in training camp.
While Austin and Bryant have experienced success for a few years, the Cowboys next receiver on the depth chart will be very green. Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris appear to be the top two candidates. Neither player has accomplished much, if anything, in the NFL.
Harris has been looking to make it in the league after being drafted in the sixth round in 2011. Last year, he got on the field in all 16 games, but didn’t have an impact until he caught 17 passes for 222 yards in the last seven games. The No.3 spot looked to be his to lose as he came on at the end of 2012, but that may have changed when the organization drafted Williams in the third round.
“Miles [Austin] is getting old and they want to bring in young guys,” Harris said. “Dez [Bryant] is still young, T-Will is young, I’m young, and Miles, we don’t know how long he’s going to be here or how long he’s going to last. But we’re hoping for the best with him. That’s my guy. And you got to bring in young guys. That’s what this league is about.”
Williams is expected to be a contributor after being the seventh wide out taken in the draft. He has struggled, however, in the early going. Williams had a few bad drops in his the few days at camp and, at times, had trouble getting open.
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“I’ve got to continue focusing on this playbook and try to keep playing with confidence,” Williams said earlier this week. “Just go to the film, correct what I did and come back and play better than I did today. That’s something that really bothers me. I’ve just got to come back tomorrow with a whole new attitude.”
The Cowboys don’t have much depth after their top four receivers. Only Anthony Armstrong and Cole Beasley have ever caught a pass in the NFL. Armstrong has just three catches for the Miami Dolphins in 2012, and Beasley caught 15 passes for 128 yards as an undrafted free agent.
The Cowboys were the first team to officially start training camp on July 21. The coaching staff will get plenty of time to make decisions on the depth chart, given that they will be one of two teams to play in five preseason games. The Cowboys begin the 2013 exhibition season in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 4 against Miami. They will kickoff the Sunday night game with a Week One contest against the New York Giants.