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3 wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys must target in the NFL draft

Mario Tovar
Dallas Cowboys
Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys have a question that needs to be answered after this week. With NFL free agency now at our doorstep, the Cowboys’ brass finds itself shorthanded at wide receiver. So, what should they do? The smart money would be on picking up one of this year’s top receiving prospects in the first round of the NFL draft.

By trading away Amari Cooper and committing long-term to Michael Gallup, Dallas is taking a huge risk. Cooper had apparently worn out his welcome with the Cowboys, but in Gallup you have a player that’s coming off a torn ACL and has had a tough time staying healthy in his career.

None of this is to say that Gallup isn’t the answer moving forward; rather, Jones and the Cowboys need another weapon for Dak Prescott, even after bringing back Dalton Schultz. Thankfully, this year’s crop of wide receivers is bountiful, and if one is picked, they’d absolutely add another layer to the Dallas Cowboys’ offense.

Chris Olave from Ohio State could fill the Cowboys’ void

chris olave
Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Chris Olave led the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns last season, amassing 13 total. We know that the Cowboys need help with their offensive line but adding a weapon following Cooper’s departure could suddenly take priority.

Olave has some of the sharpest route-running in this draft class and displayed a high level of football acumen at Ohio State. While not the most physically imposing, Olave makes up for the lack of physical play with remarkable separation. In other words, Olave won’t shine in traffic, but rather, he’ll succeed if used properly on option routes or in play action.

One of his most noteworthy traits is his release, and if you set him up with a deep pass and he gets that noted separation, he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. The Cowboys will miss Cooper’s big play ability, but Olave could replace it and become a featured option right out of the gate.

Treylon Burks would give Cowboys a physical presence

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas
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While Olave isn’t known for his physicality, Treylon Burks is the opposite. He’s a big-bodied receiver at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds who can use his frame to make those tough contested catches and, at the same time, use his size to protect the ball from defenders.

He’s ideally suited to be a slot receiver in the NFL and the Cowboys would make the best use of him by getting him the ball quickly. By doing so, they’ll allow Burks to use his body to break through tackles and earn those yards after the catch.

Even though Burks isn’t your typical vertical threat, he’ll excel if the Cowboys can get him the ball a lot. At Arkansas, Burks saw a high volume of targets, securing 66 of them in 2021. Once he’s out in the open field, Burks will make plays as he consistently breaks through arm tackles and his size makes him incredibly difficult to bring down. There’s a reason why he was at the top of the SEC in several categories, including total receptions, along with yards and touches gained from scrimmage.

Related: Check out the 7-round Dallas Cowboys mock draft

Dallas Cowboys could draft a reliable option in Jahan Dotson

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan State
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Jahan Dotson is one of the most reliable receiving prospects that can be had this year. With just a few drops this past season, Dotson could come into the Cowboys with some of the best hands and route-running that was seen last year in college football. More than just a possession receiver, Dotson possesses big-play ability thanks to his noteworthy speed on tape.

Another bonus with Dotson is his versatility, as he’ll be able to line up anywhere at the line of scrimmage. In fact, he could play any of the receiving positions and even saw action out of the backfield. He’ll also bring special teams value, having been in the top ten for punt return yards the last three seasons. 

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The biggest reason that the Dallas Cowboys could use Dotson would be due to his aforementioned speed. Dotson is fully capable of taking the top off of opposing defenses and will be able to get you large gains, whether it’s downfield or breaking off extra yardage in short, quick passes.

Related: 4 ideal Brandin Cooks trade scenarios