The Oakland Raiders released Michael Crabtree on Thursday to sign Jordy Nelson, according to SB Nation. While the Raiders may have made a huge error in judgment, the Dallas Cowboys could end up with the winning ticket.
During his stay in Oakland, Crabtree was just as productive as Amari Cooper. When the tough yards needed to be had, it was often Crabtree across the middle for a big grab or tough first down. This is what the Cowboys need. They need a player willing to do the dirty work while Dez Bryant looks to place his name among the elite receivers.
Most importantly, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott need this signing to happen.
In 2017, Prescott passed for 3,324 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while completing 62.9 percent of his passes. But the one thing Crabtree can do that other Cowboys receivers have failed at is being in the right place at the right time.
In 2017, Crabtree caught 58 passes for 618 yards and eight touchdowns but did so while averaging 10.7 yards per catch. If Dallas can add his hands, experience, and poise to the lineup, it will free Bryant, Witten, and Elliott up to do more damage.
The Cowboys may want to look at this pairing as a Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper type of duo. While Irving was the main threat, it was Harper who was able to stretch the field which allowed Irving room to breathe in the inside and Emmitt Smith larger holes up the middle.
With the Cowboys not as wealthy in terms of cap space as the Cleveland Browns or San Francisco 49ers, they may be in for a dogfight to acquire Crabtree from other teams. According to Spotrac, Crabtree’s market value is set at $10.2 million. However, since the Cowboys are viewed as a contending team, he may be willing to bypass that.
The Cowboys must find a way to improve their passing attack as they finished 26th in yards and 18th in touchdowns. Bryant led the Cowboys in receptions in 2017 with 69 for 838 yards and six touchdowns. The next closest receiver to Bryant was Terrance Williams with 53. Adding Crabtree will be a tremendous boost to the passing game and will put the Cowboys in a position to challenge the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.