Dallas Cowboys Set for a Breakout Season: Raymond Radway

With most of the Dallas Cowboy world still focused on the 2012 NFL Draft, I decided to take a look at a few players already on the roster who should be able to make more of an impact in 2012.

Aug 27, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Raymond Radway (86) walks the sidelines in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Cowboys win 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Raymond Radway only played two years of college football in which he had 40 catches for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He has sprinter speed and a 38 inch vertical.

He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys before the 2011 season.  Raymond had a spectacular and impressive Training Camp in 2011.  His leaping grabs and diving catches caused more than one onlooker to question whether stickum was making a comeback with WR’s.  Unfortunately for Radway and the Cowboys, he broke his leg before the season began and subsequently missed the entire year. Radway did not have the benefit of working with the practice squad last year, so he will essentially be a rookie again this season.

The thing that sets Radway up for a breakout season is that despite being nearly a rookie with limited college experience and no NFL experience, the Cowboys are so thin at WR, he will get a genuine opportunity to contribute. The Cowboys have no clear 3rd WR.

Radway will be competing for the 3rd WR spot with Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree (I don’t know enough about recent draft pick Danny Coale to know whether he will realistically be competing for the 3rd spot).  If the Cowboys bring in a veteran free-agent WR, that may make Radway securing a roster spot more difficult, but many believe that the salary-cap issues will force the Cowboys to go into Training Camp with the WR’s they have now.

Unless one of the young WR’s has an incredible camp, the Cowboys are not likely to have a true 3rd WR.

The reality of the 3rd WR spot is that Garrett uses the formation so frequently, he will likely use a platoon of young WR’s as the 3rd wide-out.  That would allow each of the young guys (Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway, and hopefully Andre Holmes) to focus on a smaller collection of plays designed specifically for them, rather than having one of them trying to be the full-time 3rd receiver who had to master the entire offensive playbook.

So even if Radway doesn’t beat out Dwayne Harris, it seems that if he makes the team as the 4th, or even 5th WR, he could still play a fair number of snaps with the offense.

When you watched Radway last season in training camp and in the pre-season, it was obvious that he had the raw skills to be a play-maker.  He runs a 4.3 40.  He was a champion sprinter in college.  He is fast, and more importantly, he is quick.  Watching him last year left me with one impression: once this kid gets more polished running routes, better at reading defenses, and develops a working relationship with Tony Romo, he has the speed, the hands, the 38 inch vertical, the moves, the cuts, the ability to maintain high speeds through breaks – all the raw skills necessary to be an elite receiver.

It is highly unlikely that Raymond Radway is anywhere close to being an elite receiver this year.  But, if Radway gets on the field, even if it is in a few specialty packages a handful of times each game, he should make an immediate impact.  (How hard is it to run a fly-route?)

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Tags: Andre Holmes Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Break Out Season Dwayne Harris Kevin Ogletree Raymond Radway The Wright Perspective

  • Dallas3026

    I also think Radway will eventually be a quality 3rd WR, if not better.  I am hopeful that he can develop a rapport with Romo and contribute this year.

  • Californy

    it hard not wanting to root for this guy he was having a good summer until he had his bad break in the last preseason game.  I like the WR who can run like a deer.  I kept trying to look up his college number, I guess the only number that I found  were track & Field number.  I can relate to this event he ran.  I have alot of respect for people who run track during some of the most hotter month of the year.  He was going to unseat some veteran also.  I wish him well here.  This maybe one of the team toughtest competion, who make the 3rd and 4th wr for this team.  He must be able to contribute to Special team should he have a future here,

  • Californy

    I also have my favorite for 3rd WR.  he didnt even catch a pass last year in the regular season, but he still made his presents known.  I am rooting for Dwayne harris WR. last year  Hariss was this team best Kr with 28.9 KR on 8 returns.  In collge Harris was know to be a KR specialist, Harris return 7 KR for TD in college, he also lead  his team in reception 268 and reception yardage 3001. HARRIS HAD 25-29 td in his career. he had 2374 KR yardage in college.

  • jbbravo

    I know it way too soon but tell me this C.J. Do you think Radway has potential to replace Austin in a few years? He has good size and speed and made some nice catches. Is he really made for the outside. Just a thought would be interesting if it could be him and Dez in the future after Austin moves on. Like I said way early but going by his skill set as a #2 receiver.

    • cjwright

       @jbbravo Hey jb.  Thanks for asking such a difficult question!  I guess it depends on how you define “potential”.  I am far from being a scout or even an evaluator of talent. When I think of “potential” I look at the raw/basic skills if a player is new in the NFL.  Radway’s history causes me to be more forgiving and optimistic because he didn’t play football for his entire life.  I think he has to be judged on a different time schedule than other WR’s with more experience.  All of that being said, yes, I do think that he has the potential to be a #2 WR.  But lots of young guys have that same potential, it will be things like determination, motivation, football IQ, willingness to take instruction, etc. that will ultimately determine Radway’s success or lack thereof.

      • cjwright

         @jbbravo Cas is actually a lot more adept and reliable when it comes to evaluating young players; I will see if I can get her to post her take on Radway.

  • Californy

    I like Radway too, but he a project at this time.  We have more experience WR, in Cole Beasley, Coale, Dwayne harris and that 6’4 injured WR.  I do like Radway heart, it would be hard to cut him because he tries harder than most WR.  I hope too he makes the 53 man squad.  i doubt he will stay on the 53 man squad.  I will be rooting for him also.

  • Californy

    Radway has a long way to go to make this roster.  Radway only can catch the hooks where he come back to the ball.  I like to see him on some post or flag routes.  Radway  is amazing story, he shouldnt even be in contention because of his lack of football experience, but he is, now there is your story.

    • cjwright

       @Californy The clips I saw from camp last year showed Radway catching a lot more than just hooks.

  • CowgirlCas22

    In the limited reps I have seen from the other Receivers. The 2 that stood out to me the most were Holley ( I Can’t believe they kept Ogletree over him. He made huge plays every time he got an opportunity) and Harris. In the Reps he got, Harris made some huge plays. It seems after that JG didn’t give him anymore opportunities. I really haven’t seen enough of Radway to make an accurate evaluation at this time. I think he has a lot of upside, but I feel Harris, having more experience, combined with being a better route runner, at this time has the most upside. Harris is a very physical Rec with great after the catch running ability. He demonstrated this in his limited role as a kick returner. Watching Harris run, is like watching pin ball. He has the potential to be a Wes Welker type of slot receiver.

    • cjwright

       @CowgirlCas22 I agree with you about Harris.  Even if Harris wins the 3rd WR position outright, I still think that Radway will get a chance to contribute.  That being said, I don’t know that much about the WR they drafted yet.

      • CowgirlCas22

         @cjwright to be honest, when I heard his name called I had to look him up lol. I was like who in the hell is this guy

  • Californy

    I heard Danny Coale just went down in the Team OTA. he will required surgury.  This should create an opportunity for these young WR.  I just dont want JJ protecting his draft picks by cutting someone who earn a roster spot just to protect potential of these players.  I say let the best player earn their spot base on what they did in practise and in the preseason, rather than from where they were selected.

  • ctcowboysince1968

    Everyone that writes about Radway states he is very talented.  Robinson has to coach him up.  Then JG has to get him on the field with opportunities to do something.  This could be a stretch since JG has shown himself to be a very under whelming coach.

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