Cowboys Could Add Former 1,000-Yard Pro Bowler After Zay Jones Rejection

Cowboys potential signee Hunter Renfrow

Getty Cowboys potential signee Hunter Renfrow

The Cowboys took a swing on wide receiver Zay Jones, who visited The Star this week. But ultimately, they missed, as Jones signed on with the Cardinals and left the Cowboys in the lurch as the team looks to add wide receiver depth behind star CeeDee Lamb and veteran Brandin Cooks.

There are still some quality No. 3s out there on the NFL free-agent market. Michael Thomas of the Saints was once on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but injuries and team squabbles have left him unsigned. A pair of Super Bowl champions—Mecole Hardman and Marques Valdez-Scantling—are still on the market.

Make no mistake, with Jones off the board, the Cowboys have arrived at the bottom of the free-agency barrel. But if there is a player whose style of play and price tag might just suit the Cowboys perfectly, it’s a guy who remains unsigned despite a Pro Bowl season on his resume: former Raiders star Hunter Renfrow.

Hunter Renfrow Had 1 Breakout Season With Raiders

We’ve looked at the possibility of Hardman in Dallas. But this week, in a mailbag at, beat writer Nick Harris also broached the possibility of Renfrow, whose rise and fall in Las Vegas over the last three seasons was fascinating.

Wrote Harris (just ahead of the Jones visit): “With Zay Jones visiting this week, the Cowboys may also be in the market for a receiver. If Jones doesn’t work out, Mecole Hardman or Hunter Renfrow could bring some playmaking ability to the offense next season.”

Renfrow had two NFL solid seasons after he was a fifth-round pick in 2019 out of Clemson, where he had helped the Tigers to two national championships, catching passes from both Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson. But in 2021, with the Raiders mired in controversy, Renfrow got more assertive and quarterback Derek Carr began finding him more and more.

Renfrow went for 103 catches and 1,038 yards, plus nine touchdowns, and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.

That production was short-lived, though, as new Raiders coach Josh McDaniels’ offense turned away from Renfrow, who struggled with injuries in 2022 and tallied only 330 yards in 10 games. It got worse in 2023, even after the Raiders changed coaches to Antonio Pierce. Renfrow played all 17 games but finished with 25 catches and 255 yards.

Still, he has experience as a slot option and a possession receiver, and with his career in a rut in Vegas, he makes sense on a one-year make-good deal with the Cowboys.

Cowboys Searching for No. 3

No doubt, the Cowboys do need to address the third-receiver situation.

Lamb is No. 1, and despite his contract stalemate with the team (he is due an extension), he will be back in Dallas next year and will be among the best receivers in the game.

Cooks is No. 2, but will be 31 and is entering the final year of his contract, and possibly his final year in Dallas. Last year’s No. 3 was Michael Gallup, who was unceremoniously cut after another massively disappointing season. He was signed by the Raiders, essentially filling in for Renfrow.

This year’s No. 3 is up in the air. It might be 2022 third-rounder Jalen Tolbert. It could be little-used third-year man KaVontae Turpin, or sixth-round pick Ryan Flournoy.

More likely, though, it is a low-cost free agent the Cowboys will add in the coming weeks as the barrel gets scraped. Renfrow is one of the last good names in there.

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