Bowling's suspension bigger loss than expected

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The suspension of Oklahoma State wide receiver Bo Bowling after he was earlier arrested on drug possession charges could have a larger impact for the Cowboys than initially appears.

Bowling was set to challenge Damian Davis for a starting position opposite Dez Bryant when spring practice begins for the Cowboys on March 9.

After a strong showing in his first season at Oklahoma State after transferring from Northeast Oklahoma Junior College, Bowling was expected to receive a scholarship from the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State was more dependent on Bryant than any team was on a single receiver in the Big 12 last season. Bryant's team-leading 87 receptions made up a whopping 41.4 percent of all Oklahoma State catches last season. The other wide receivers on the roster combined for 40. The Cowboys also are wrestling with the loss of tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who declared for the NFL draft after last season.

The Cowboys reliance on Bryant was obvious in the Holiday Bowl when he sustained a knee injury against Oregon. Oklahoma State's passing attack couldn't recover as the Ducks charged back for a 42-31 victory.

Davis, DeMarcus Conner, Hubert Anyiam, Josh Cooper and Artrell Woods all will be featured in the Cowboys' spring work at wide receiver. Heralded wide receiver Jeremy Broadway was kicked off the team in December, shortly after the regular season ended.

Bowling's suspension will hurt him in terms of repetitions with the No. 1 offense, his familiarity with quarterback Zac Robinson and his hopes for earning playing time.