Cowboys put focus on undrafted wide receivers

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys did not draft a receiver, but they made sure they valued what they could get at the position among the college free agents.

Southern Cal receiver George Farmer, who was among the Cowboys’ top 30 visits before the draft, received $55,000 guaranteed, including a $15,000 signing bonus. Florida Atlantic’s Lucky Whitehead received a $10,000 signing bonus and Baylor’s Antwan Goodley received $7,500 to sign.

That trio took up nearly 38 percent of the $86,597 allocated to each team by the league for undrafted rookie signing bonuses. Add the $21,000 received by offensive lineman La’el Collins and the Cowboys used $53,500 on those four players.

The Cowboys appear set at their top three wide receiver spots with Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. The Cowboys drafted Devin Street in the fifth round last year but lost Dwayne Harris in free agency.

Despite not getting drafted, Farmer, Whitehead and Goodley were considered by the Cowboys in the later rounds.

That Farmer got that much guaranteed money speaks to a potential that has been talked about since his high school days, when he was the top-ranked receiver recruit in the nation. Injuries sidetracked his career at Southern Cal, which played a part in his decision to leave school early. He caught just 25 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns in 2014, with his best game coming against Notre Dame (four catches, 85 yards, two touchdowns).

Whitehead has the ability to be an electric returner, which is something the Cowboys lost in Harris’ departure. He averaged 24.6 yards per kick return last year and had a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown against Old Dominion. He led the Owls in catches (76), yards (706) and touchdowns (six).

Goodley’s numbers fell off in 2014 after catching 71 passes for 1,339 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. He finished with 60 catches for 830 yards and six touchdowns last season and can also help in the return game.