The Dallas Cowboys are in the beginning stages of the offseason as the team announced the signing of four players to Reserve/Future contracts headlined by a pair of receivers, Antonio Callaway and Dennis Houston. Dallas also signed tackle Alex Taylor and safety Tyler Coyle in the latest round of roster moves.
Future contracts allow the Cowboys to retain the rights to players throughout the offseason leaving the door open for the individuals to make the final 53-man roster for 2023. The majority of these players have typically spent time on Dallas practice squad during the season. NFL teams can begin negotiating with free agents on March 13 while contracts can be signed on March 15.
Callaway is the signing that will draw the most attention given his status as a former highly touted prospect coming out of Florida in 2018. The Cowboys initially signed Callaway to the practice squad in November, but the wideout has yet to play a snap in Dallas. Callaway posted 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns in 16 appearances, including 11 starts, during his rookie season with the Browns in 2018.
The talented receiver has had a complicated NFL career with multiple suspensions by the league. The move to keep Callaway offers little risk for the Cowboys as the team clearly recognizes the upside the 26-year-old wideout still possesses.
Callaway was released by Cleveland in 2019 and has since had short stints with Miami and Kansas City. The playmaker last played an NFL game for the Dolphins in 2020 notching just two receptions for 20 yards in five appearances with Miami.
The Cowboys Desperately Need to Add Receivers This Offseason
This marks the second round of Futures deals the Cowboys have announced heading into the offseason. Offensive line and wide receiver were the positions most addressed by Dallas with the Reserves contracts. The Cowboys previously signed the following five players to Reserve deals: wide receiver Dontario Drummond (Ole Miss), center Brock Hoffman (Virginia Tech), center Alec Lindstrom (Boston College), cornerback Sheldrick Redwine (Miami) and safety Juanyeh Thomas (Georgia Tech).
While the receivers retained are developmental players, the Cowboys need to make major moves at the position this offseason. CeeDee Lamb was Dallas’ lone consistent receiver as the team released James Washington during the season and rookie Jalen Tolbert failed to make an impact. Michael Gallup also struggled to become the Cowboys consistent answer at WR2.
Who Are the Top Potential Receiver Targets for the Cowboys?
The Cowboys have three available pathways to improve the wide receiver position: trade for a veteran, sign players via free agency or through the draft. We explored a wild trade scenario with the Bills involving Stefon Diggs, but a more realistic target is likely Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins.
Dallas openly flirted with Odell Beckham Jr. during the season, and it would not be a surprise if Jerry Jones rekindled talks with the star given the wideout remains unsigned. Additional notable free-agent receivers include JuJu Smith-Schuster, D.J. Chark, Jarvis Landry, Mecole Hardman, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard.
The most affordable option for the Cowboys would be to address the receiver position in the draft. Some of the top wideout prospects are TCU’s Quentin Johnson, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, USC’s Jordan Addison, Boston College’s Zay Flowers and North Carolina’s Josh Downs