The Cowboys decided to release wide receiver Dez Bryant in April and saw tight end Jason Witten retire in May. There’s no reason for their offense to worry about it going into June.
Bryant’s value as a free agent is inflated, as his name carries more weight than his game does. Witten is on his way to Monday Night Football and then the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the most beloved Cowboys ever. He has the most receptions and receiving yards in the history of the franchise.
When you add it all up, the younger, more versatile roster is a net gain for Prescott. His familiarity with Bryant and Witten will be hard to duplicate, but the production won’t be.
Bryant and Witten combined for 219 of the team’s 485 receiving targets last season, or 45 percent. They turned those targets into 132 of the team’s 305 receptions, or 42 percent. That quantity did not lead to quality for Prescott during his sophomore slump. The QB felt pressure to get the ball deep to Bryant despite the receiver’s drop-off in ability on those routes. Witten from game to game was either a busy target or a total afterthought; an inconsistent option. Williams, once a field-stretcher outside, has become pedestrian.
As the Cowboys look to shorten Prescott’s stroke and relieve him of the burden 鈥?easier to do with Ezekiel Elliott not suspended and Tyron Smith not injured 鈥?their current receiving corps is well suited.
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Schultz, who wasn’t as productive as a receiver in college as previous NFL tight ends from Stanford (Zach Ertz, Austin Hooper), is the key for the Cowboys. For now, they are starting their Authentic Chase Allen Jersey senior-most returning tight end, 2015 seventh-rounder Geoff Swaim, with developmental 2016 sixth-rounder Rico Gathers next on the depth chart. Blake Jarwin, undrafted in 2017, is also in the mix. Dallas has gone from very experienced at tight end to not experienced at all.
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They are part of a class out to reverse the trends after more Browns front-office and roster refurbishing. New general manager John Dorsey and third-year coach Hue Jackson will oversee the on-field rebuild. The installment plan featured a flurry of trade activity that landed players such as Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Damarious Randall before what could be considered the Browns’ most important NFL Draft since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999.