Dallas Cowboys: Add WR Josh Gordon to the Redemption Team?

Josh Gordon (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Josh Gordon (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t afraid to give players second chances if they think the player has a shot at making an impact, that’s why receiver Josh Gordon makes so much sense.

With the change in the NFL’s drug policy, high risk players from yesterday are fast becoming high reward players today. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are two players who are receiving a chance at redemption on the Dallas Cowboys, at least partially, because of the loosening marijuana policy (although Aldon Smith’s main issues are related to alcohol). Another player who stands to gain enormously under the rules of the new CBA is WR Josh Gordon.

Once upon a time Josh Gordon was a top-3 WR in the league. A handful of failed drug tests later and his entire career fell into jeopardy. Since then it’s been comeback tour after comeback tour, all ending in the same sad result: a place on the commissioner’s suspended list (six times, in fact). But things stand to change considerably now that the NFL has softened their stance on positive marijuana tests. And if the Dallas Cowboys were smart, they’d give the former Baylor receiver a call and invite him to join their “2020 Redemption Team”.

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The Dallas Cowboys have long been known as a bastion for second chances in the NFL. Unafraid to gamble on high-risk players, Jerry Jones embraces a certain level of risk – provided it comes with substantial rewards. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are perfect examples of Jerry’s gambling ways.

Even though Aldon and Randy are currently suspended, the Cowboys feel they are both on track to be available when the season begins. And with a constant threat of suspension looming for the next failed drug test, most of the risk is now removed.

The same can be said of Josh Gordon. Gordon isn’t a troublemaker, he’s a marijuana user (although there are drinking issues in his past as well). Up until now those failed drug tests resulted in suspensions. But under the new CBA, suspension isn’t a consequence. That makes him considerably more reward-y than risky.

How good is Josh Gordon?

Really dang good, my friends. Gordon may not have that 4.3 speed he was once said to have had, but he’s every bit the deep threat at the ripe old age of 28 (yes, he’s only going to be 29 next season) Despite all the suspensions, Josh Gordon is still producing at a high level. Splitting time between two teams last season (Patriots and Seahawks) Gordon averaged 9.1 yards per target. That’s only .1 off his career average of 9.2.

In his seven starts last season, he posted 345 yards receiving. That comes out to 788 yards on the season – nothing to go crazy about but also nothing to scoff at. And with Randall Cobb now gone, Dallas could certainly use someone like Gordon around to pick up the slack.

Obviously it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Gordon, either. Gordon has never been a great route-runner so sliding into Cobbs role in the slot isn’t a great plan. But Gordon ran select routes from the slot in New England and can be pretty dangerous as an inside Cover 2 breaker or RPO target.

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Ideally, he’d play X for the Dallas Cowboys when they went to 11 personnel. Unlike the Dez Bryant option, Gordon has a knack for creating separation and getting deep quickly. In those instances, Dallas could easily move Amari to the slot where he can be more impactful (something I recommend anyway) and Gordon would basically run go routes and open up the whole field for Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin.

Josh Gordon carries risk, there’s no question, but for a team that’s proven to embrace second chances and the risk/reward that comes with it, Gordon is an attractive gamble to make.

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Let’s add Josh Gordon to the list of reclamation projects here in Dallas. He would potentially help fill a need as a top-3 WR on this team, and he wouldn’t prevent the Dallas Cowboys from drafting a WR high in the coming draft.

  • Published on 04/08/2020 at 11:11 AM
  • Last updated at 04/08/2020 at 19:19 PM