The third wide receiver spot is open

When the Cowboys lost Laurent Robinson in free agency it started a hot debate as to who the third wide receiver is going to be.

Dwayne Harris. Kevin Ogletree. Raymond Radway. Andre Holmes. Danny Coale.


The other candidates for the third receiver spot on the training camp roster are Saalim Hakim, Cole Beasley, Tim Benford and Donavon Kemp.

Ogletree has the most experience of the competitors, yet he's been inconsistent in his time with the Cowboys. He finished last season with just 15 catches and was overtaken by Robinson for the No. 3 spot early in the season. In a slight, Ogletree was active for the last regular season game of the 2011 season but didn't play a snap.

Jerry Jones said he's seen a different Ogletree this offseason. Ogletree has picked up more bulk and there seems to be a renewed emphasis on becoming a more accomplished wide receiver.

The other candidates all have good stories and could emerge as a force this season should they beat out Ogletree.

"I think its fairly open," wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said. "Honestly we have to have somebody step up and say, 'Hey this is my job,' and if we don't then it's going to be by committee if nothing else. We're not even close to saying who that guy is. We got a number of guys who are going to work in the slot and we'll see how it goes. It will take us all the way through training camp and preseason games before we know, I think."

In the Cowboys' passing game, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten are the prime targets. So when the Cowboys got an 11-touchdown, 858-receiving-yard season from Robinson, it was a bonus.

It's hard to say if someone will duplicate Robinson's numbers of 2011. But if, say, the third receiver gets about 400-500 receiving yards with 3-4 touchdowns, that would be a plus.

The question is, do the Cowboys have someone on their roster who can do this?

A popular theory among Cowboys fans is Holmes has a chance to become the No. 3 wideout.

"I think Andre is working hard," quarterback Tony Romo said. "He's got a big upside and he has a chance to be a good receiver in this league."