Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has stated on multiple occasions that he believes his team is better off now than it was at the end of the 2017-2018 NFL season.
If the team’s solidly-rated 2018 draft maximizes its potential, that very well could be true.
But his statements do not apply to the wide receiver position.
On April 14, the team released former pro bowler Dez Bryant.
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On May 19, Terrance Williams was arrested on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor, after police found his Lamborghini crashed into a light pole.
If Williams were suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the Cowboys wouldn’t have to pay him a cent. They’d just have to eat the $3.75 million dead money if they decide to release him.
Jones has already ruled out the franchise resigning Bryant. And as of right now, the organization has $7,172,791 in cap space, according to Spotrac.com.
Here are the some of the remaining free-agent receivers still available and what it might cost to acquire them.
Eli Rogers: Steelers (2016, 2017)
At 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, Rogers isn't the ideal player to replicate Dez Bryant's size, strength, or production (he has just four career touchdown catches). The appeal comes from his speed (he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the combine) and his age (25).
Kamar Aiken: Buffalo Bills (2011), New England Patriots (2012), Baltimore Ravens (2014-2016), Indianapolis Colt (2017)
He hauled in 75 catches and 944 receiving yards for the Ravens in 2015. But he didn't top 30 receptions in either of the past two seasons with the Colts. This will be his seventh season in the league.
Dontrelle Inman: Los Angeles Chargers (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2017)
Consistent production is really not his calling card. And he likely isn't the ideal candidate for a more Dak-friendly offense. His solid stature (6-foot-3, almost 200 pounds) combined with his blazing speed are what continue to make him a viable NFL receiver.
Jeremy Maclin: Baltimore Ravens (2017), Kansas City Chiefs (2015, 2016), Philadelphia Eagles (2009-2014)
The Cowboys have already inquired about the former Pro Bowler's services. The 29-year-old has seen a decline in salary and production, and will likely be playing for this third team in the past three seasons by the time training camp rolls around. But his reduced cost and experience (the average age of a Dallas receiver is 25), could benefit this team.
Eric Decker: Tennessee Titans (2017), New York Jets (2014-2016), Denver Broncos (2010-2013)
Like Maclin, Decker has bounced around, having played for three teams since 2010. The veteran never quite clicked with quarterback Marcus Mariotta in Tennessee and he has an injury history. However, he caught more than 65 percent of the 80 passes thrown his way despite playing in Mike Mularkey's underachieving offensive scheme.