Dallas Cowboys’ lack of open targets stick out in Week 1

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Going into the season, Dallas Cowboys fans knew there would be a clear downgrade on the offensive side of the ball. With James Washington going down, the only projected starters to have gotten NFL action were Cee Dee Lamb and Noah Brown.

But my expectations weren’t even this low. The Cowboys’ lack of receiving depth sticks out like a sore thumb and it needs to be addressed in free agency or the trade market.

The Dallas Cowboys receiving corps cannot stay like this if they want to contend

There is only so much that Dak Prescott can do when his WR2 is Devin Houston. Don’t blame the game on him, he didn’t do much but the team built around him did nothing to improve. Due to the lack of effort this offseason, Dak Prescott injured his hand while under pressure and will require surgery on it according to Jerry Jones.

When you trade or let some of your best weapons walk and then don’t even attempt to replace them, I don’t know what result you necessarily expect. Jerry Jones constantly says that he got the guy he wanted and I refuse to believe that. I’m sure if they didn’t shell out $90 million to Ezekiel Elliot then some of those guys the Dallas Cowboys “didn’t want” would still be here now.

Cee Dee Lamb was shut down in a game where he was targeted 11 times with 2 catches for 29 yards. Despite Lamb’s incredible talent which we know he possesses, when he is the only weapon to worry about on the offensive end, Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles can focus on him and essentially eliminate him as a factor. That opened up some opportunities for Noah Brown to put up some numbers.

While they were empty yards, it will be interesting to see how he performs in the absence of Cedrick Wilson Jr. who would typically go out as the WR3 in most sets. He led the team in receiving with 68 yards on 9 targets.

Fortunately, there are options for the Dallas Cowboys in the free agent pool. Some names of note are Will Fuller, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham Jr., Emmanuel Sanders, and Cole Beasley. While it would be appealing to bring Beasley back to Dallas his role as a slot receiver is not the most pressing need.OBJ has some serious appeal but coming off an ACL injury, I can’t imagine he will provide immediate help.

I’m eyeing a guy like Will Fuller. Fuller would be a useful deep threat to add to the roster. The Dallas Cowboys showed that they desperately needed someone like that to help work the sidelines. There was a lot of short routes outside the numbers and a few completions of 10+ yards inside the numbers but not many attempts deeper than that beyond the final six minutes when the offense became desperate.

While the season can’t be declared dead after one game, it feels like the punches just keep coming. The lack of explosiveness on offense, Connor Williams going down on the first drive, Tony Pollard not getting the looks we want, and last but most certainly not least, Dak Prescott out several weeks with an injury in week one.

If Dak looked poor with this offense I shudder to think at what Cooper Rush will do with it. He needs to simply try and tread water against fairly weak opponents. From that point, anything can happen. Here’s hoping they supplement the offense so we have a little more fun over in Jerry’s World.