IRVING, Texas -- Size matters, at least for the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers.
While there will be roles for Cole Beasley (5-foot-8, 180 pounds) and Dwayne Harris (5-10, 207 pounds), the Cowboys’ actions have made it clear that the need for size to play wide receiver is important, especially given the physical play they see from cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage.
Dez Bryant is 6-2, 220 pounds. Terrance Williams, who fills in for Miles Austin, is 6-2, 200 pounds. The Cowboys drafted 6-3, 190-pound Devin Street. The two undrafted free agents they added -- L'Damian Washington and Chris Boyd -- are both 6-4.
“What we want to bring in here are the best players,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We evaluate them as players first, but having said that, you want guys with the right measurable. That’s size. That’s length. That’s speed. We think it’s important to bring guys in here who as you try to develop them can turn into something you want. There’s a lot of smaller receivers in the league who are really good. There are smaller receivers on our team who are really good. It’s not only big guys who can be successful at that position. [But] it’s a competitive league, a physical league. There are big cornerbacks in the league.”
Beasley and Harris play important roles. Their stature is mitigated some by playing the slot where corners have a hard time getting their hands on them. Beasley’s quickness and Harris’ strength give the Cowboys options.
But to play on the outside you need all of the tools. The Cowboys were looking for outside receivers in the draft who could move inside if needed; not inside receivers who could play outside.
New passing game coordinator Scott Linehan appears to like bigger receivers. Of the six receivers on the Detroit Lions' roster at the end of last season, only one was shorter than 6-feet. He also had the best receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson (6-5, 236 pounds).