Asked if the Cowboys are considering bringing in a veteran receiver in free agency, Jason Garrett said, “We consider Dez Bryant a veteran receiver.”
The Cowboys coach said Bryant, now the most-tenured receiver on the roster with the release of Miles Austin, has settled into a leadership role and understands it.
“Really, what you’re talking about is influence on other people,” Garrett said at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando. “Dez has been able to positively influence so many guys on our team, really for the last few years. As he’s gotten himself settled into the role he’s been in, he’s an outstanding football player. He loves the game. He has an infectious way about him. People really like Dez, and they care about Dez. If you come to one of our football practices, you see that. He’s a very competitive guy who wants to be great. And there is an infectious way about him. It’s been really positive. You see it in practice and see it in the game. I think he certainly understands his role with the team.”
The next most experienced receivers on the roster are fourth-year veteran Dwayne Harris and third-year veteran Cole Beasley. After that, it’s 2013 draft pick Terrance Williams and fringe prospects like Tim Benford, Jamar Newsome and Lance Lewis.
That’s why it’s likely the Cowboys sign a veteran and/or draft a receiver.
“We consider Dez Bryant a veteran receiver,” Garrett said. “He’s played a lot of games for us and played at a very high level. He’s certainly a strong veteran presence for us. We do have some younger guys, but some of the other guys have been around for a little bit. You talk about Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris – they’ve been around our football team and done some good things for us. We like that group so far. You add Terrance Williams to that mix.
“You’re always trying to upgrade your football team and looking at the landscape as to how you can do that. We’re getting into draft time right now. That’s certainly one way. We’re still in free agency. You’re always looking at the landscape at who’s available and who can help you. We’ll do that at that position just like any other position.”
-- Carlos Mendez