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Cowboys Looking To Go Back To The Future?

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(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

When Dallas let wideout Kevin Ogletree slip away to Tampa Bay during the offseason, it left the Cowboys with only two solid options at the position in Dez Bryant and Miles Austin with very little else behind them. Faithful followers of the team wondered if Cole Beasley or Dwayne Harris were ready to step up and contribute the way Ogletree did at critical times during the season.

It seems, though, that the Cowboys had their eye on another Florida-based NFL team when they parted ways with Ogletree. According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys may be looking to bring Laurent Robinson back to the team.

Robinson was recently let go by the Jacksonville Jaguars following an injury-plagued 2012 season after signing a $32 million deal. Robinson landed the big contract following his best year as a pro in 2011 when he caught 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns while playing for the Cowboys.

Dallas could not match the gaudy numbers that lured Robinson away last year, but they might be able to reel him back into the fold after such a dismal season and at a much lower price than what Jacksonville paid him. If Dallas does rework the contract of Tony Romo as Jerry Jones keeps insisting they will do, the Cowboys will have the needed cap room to sign Robinson.

Dallas would clearly be hoping that Robinson will be able to recapture the chemistry he and Romo had two seasons back, and it is something that both sides dearly need to have happen. Most of Robinson’s damage in 2011 came when Dallas was in the red zone, and the Cowboys have struggled to punch the ball into the endzone far too often last year.

So, on the surface at least, bringing back Robinson to replace Ogletree—who essentially replaced Robinson last year—makes a lot of sense for a Cowboys squad needing help at the position and not having a lot of affordable free agent options available to fill it.

However, the risk involved should give Dallas some pause. Robinson’s health issues, namely the concussion that limited him to just seven games played and only four starts last year, are a red flag. Dallas has said that they are going to do their homework on Robinson and they will need to do a stout risk-reward analysis on him as well.

The risk is that if Robinson repeats his 2012 numbers, then Dallas’ third receiver will either be Beasley, who had half of his catches and over half of his yards all come in one game last year, or Harris, who did all of his damage in the last seven games of the season and is more of a threat as a returner than a receiver.

The reward would be if the 2011 Laurent Robinson arrives in Valley Ranch. Unfortunately for Dallas, they will not know for sure until well into the 2013 season in which Robinson will already be signed.

There could come a time in December when the Dallas Cowboys will find themselves wishing they had kept Ogletree after all.