The Dallas Cowboys were offensively elite last year and may have the NFL’s best receiving group.
When you look at the Dallas Cowboys offense, the first thing most would like to think about is a menacing offensive line that paves the way for Ezekiel Elliott. While that still should be a key part of what they like to do on that side of the ball, we saw quite a bit of the passing game last season and at all parts of the game.
Many will say that it was due to playing from behind a ton, which may have contributed to the necessity to do so, the fact remains that they were still able to execute.
While some also will say that they faced a ton of bend but don’t break style defenses in those situations, where yards aren’t as valued as not giving up points, I would look inversely by saying that it’s more impressive because the defense knew what was coming at them.
You also have to include that with the transition that is going on at the center position in Dallas, from Travis Frederick to potentially fourth-round rookie Tyler Biadasz, things may take a game or few to work itself out there. Either way though, whether the running game is clicking on all cylinders or sputtering out of the gate, the Cowboys will pass the ball around the yard it seems.
With that assumption in hand, you begin to take a look at who will be doing the pass-catching. After making that assessment, you should immediately begin to ponder upon a certain notion.
This is one that asks if the Dallas Cowboys have the best receiving group in the NFL? I think the answer is yes, yes they do. Let me explain.
The Dallas Cowboys probably have the best group of pass-catchers in the league and here’s why.
According to Pro Football Focus, who ranked each NFL receiving corp back on May 20, the Dallas Cowboys came in at number three on their list. While it is only necessary to analyze the top two, for our purposes and since the Cowboys are the third-ranked, I’ve listed the top five teams and the players included as primary receivers for each team according to PFF.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Johnson, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate
- Kansas City Chiefs- Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Dallas Cowboys- Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Blake Jarwin, Ezekiel Elliott
- New Orleans Saints- Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook
- Buffalo Bills- Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Dawson Knox
For starters, you are not seeing things nor did I make a mistake, the Buffalo Bills are ranked at five here. You might also take notice of the fact that they are including every weapon available to a team that you might see catch a pass for them regularly. In example, all three tight ends for the Bucs or Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the Chiefs.
Well, you at least see that for every team here, except the Dallas Cowboys. One name, running back Tony Pollard, wasn’t even mentioned by the Pro Football Focus piece. While he was a much better runner last season than pass-catcher, from a purely statistical point of view, his skill set, his wiggle, and all we know about Pollard from college says that he should excel in the pass-catching game as well.
You also have to take a look at tight end Blake Jarwin. While Jarwin did catch 31 of his 41 targets last season, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be targeted twice as much as that this season with Jason Witten’s exit. Let’s hope he can catch more than two times the amount in which he caught last season though.
Lastly here, when you think about a guy like CeeDee Lamb, he just takes an already elite group featuring Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper over the top. With 6-2 size, 4.5 speed, elite receiving skills, elite dexterity, and while all likely from the slot, he should be a menace to both secondaries and defensive coordinators throughout the league.
From an overall, big-play ability, versatility, and sheer volume perspective, no other corp is as deep all around as the Cowboys are. Others may have slightly better at certain positions, but no corp ranked near or above Dallas’s has as many very good to elite players all over the field, as Cowboys do as far as catching passes go. That is why The Dallas Cowboys may just have the best receiving group in the NFL