The Pro Bowl (weird as it was at times) is done and the Dallas Cowboys’ coaching staff is home. While the offensive coordinator job is still technically open Maliek Collins Jersey Stitched , all signs are that Kellen Moore will wind up filling it, with Jon Kitna as the quarterback coach. We still have to wait for that to become official, but now the team should be ready to move onto the the next phase of things: Free agency. And this season, as is normal for the Cowboys, the biggest decisions concern their own free agents. Everyone knows DeMarcus Lawrence is the big target to retain, but that is a case where the only real thing for the team to decide is just how hard they are going to negotiate the handsome price they will pay for him.However, there is one rather complicated situation for the team to handle, and that is what to do about slot receiver Cole Beasley. He has expressed unhappiness over his role in the offense, leading to speculation that he is basically gone in free agency. Despite that, Beasley has often played a vital role for the Cowboys as the go-to slot receiver, especially when they really need to convert on short-to-medium third downs. He is very difficult to cover one-on-one, and now that the team has added Amari Cooper and seen the emergence of Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz have improved, Beasley has real value on the field, whether he is the target or making it easier for Dak Prescott to get the ball to someone else. Part of his discontent seems to lie with the way offensive coordinator Scott Linehan didn’t appear to want to incorporate him into the game plan.But Linehan has graduated to ex-offensive coordinator. It remains to be seen how presumptive OC Moore will seek to utilize slot receivers. He may have an encouraging message for Beasley if he wants to stay.There is also the question of just how much Beasley was being left out of the game plan. 2018 was not really a down year for him. It was his second best season behind 2016 in yardage Youth Rico Gathers Jersey , targets, and receptions. He caught 75% of the balls thrown his way, and averaged just over 10 yards a catch. And while he only had three touchdowns, the one he grabbed to win the final regular season game was a clear exhibit of just how good a weapon he can be.So the Cowboys have to make a decision on whether they really want to let him go in free agency (assuming he would be receptive to a new deal with Dallas). The question in that case is just how much they are willing to pay for him. It is anticipated that he would be expecting a contract worth between $6 and $8 million annually. Are the Cowboys willing to pony up that much? If not, what will they do to replace him?Well, if they aren’t, they have to have a plan for that replacement - and that is far murkier than the OC status. Beasley is a specific talent, able to get open almost at will, with good hands and more speed than many think. If he is not retained, the Cowboys have some uncertain alternatives. They can try to re-sign Tavon Austin, but he has a significant injury history, missing nine regular season games since coming to Dallas last year. His record as a pass receiver is not nearly as good as Beasley’s, with only a 59% catch rate. He is an electrifying return man, which is perhaps reason enough to try and re-sign him, but that does not make him a reliable option in the slot. They also have Cedrick Wilson Rico Gathers Jersey Stitched , who spent his rookie season on IR. Wilson is seen as having a chance to be a very good slot receiver, based on his performance in training camp before his injury, but it is just potential, where Beasley is a proven commodity. Otherwise, they could try a bit of slot-receiver-by-committee, but recent history with that whole “by-committee” thing is not encouraging.That leaves free agency and the draft. And frankly, there is little chance of finding someone who can replace Beasley’s contributions either route. A free agent of anywhere near his abilities is going to cost just about as much, so why not spend the money on someone who already knows the quarterback? And while Moore is expected to make some real changes to the offense, he should keep a lot of the same terminology and some of the concepts to make things as easy on his players as possible.Still, the team may be tempted to try and replace Beasley with a much cheaper draftee. It is seen to be a good draft for wide receivers, with players like Marquise Brown and Andy Isabella possibly being there when the Cowboys select in the second or third round. But if I were involved in the personnel decisions at the Star, I would be advocating strongly that the team make an offer to Beasley, and be willing to work with him to keep his talents on board. The team has nearly $55 million in cap space per Over the Cap and has shown it can find more whenever it needs to. Investing in their own free agents has been a strategy of the Cowboys for some time now, and it is one that should be continued with Beasley. They can afford it. And he is worth it. The New York Jets will be short-handed in Chicago.Wide receiver Robby Anderson is doubtful for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury that kept him out of practice all week. Receiver Quincy Enunwa was previously ruled out with a high ankle sprain.That leaves rookie quarterback Sam Darnold without two top receivers."We've got a few guys banged up, but Youth Byron Jones Jersey , I mean, we've got guys in here and they've been practicing," coach Todd Bowles said Friday. "We expect them to play well on Sunday."Jermaine Kearse and recently signed Rishard Matthews could see lots of action , with Andre Roberts, Charone Peake and rookie Deontay Burnett also healthy."We've got all hands on deck this week," Bowles said.Kearse is third on the team with 16 catches and led the Jets with 65 receptions last year, so he's used to being counted on in the offense."I don't think pressure is what I would feel," Kearse said. "I go out every week, regardless, with the same mindset and make the most of each opportunity. It's no different this week. As far as pressure having to step up because we've got some guys out, I don't think I would change anything I would do normally."Matthews was signed Monday, four weeks after he was granted his request to be released by Tennessee. He has been cramming in extra work on the practice field with Darnold and the other receivers, trying to quickly get up to speed."We'll have a plan for him on Sunday if he plays and we'll kind of go from there," Bowles said. "I'm not expecting him to learn everything all at once, but we've got other guys that can play as well Byron Jones Jersey Stitched , so we'll make that determination."Burnett was promoted from the practice squad last Saturday after the Jets released Terrelle Pryor with an injury settlement after he hurt his groin. Pryor recently posted videos of him working out, saying he was healthy and ready to go, but Bowles said re-signing him this weekend wouldn't be in the team's plans and the Jets would re-evaluate the situation next week. Pryor's locker remained intact nearly a week after he was let go.Burnett played against Minnesota last Sunday and caught his first regular-season pass, a 9-yarder from Darnold — who was his college quarterback at USC.The speedy 6-foot, 186-pound speedster could help fill Anderson's role as a receiver who could stretch the field for Darnold."You don't want those guys out because they're key contributors to our team, but it's the next-man-up mentality," Burnett said. "Practice this week has been good. As long as you prepare, you shouldn't go out there with any doubts."The Jets' backfield is banged up, too, with Bilal Powell out for the season with a neck injury. That leaves Isaiah Crowell and rookie Trenton Cannon as the only running backs on the roster, although Bowles said promoting De'Angelo Henderson from the practice squad is a consideration if they choose to add someone else to the mix.Center Spencer Long is questionable with finger and knee ailments after originally being listed as doubtful. He has struggled in recent weeks with shotgun snaps, so Jonotthan Harrison or Dakota Dozier would replace him on the starting offensive line if he can't play.Harrison worked quite a bit at center with Darnold in training camp, so he would appear to be the likely choice."If that were to be the case on Sunday, I know we're more than prepared," Harrison said.Left tackle Kelvin Beachum is questionable with a back injury Youth Randy Gregory Jersey , but participated on a limited basis at practice Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday.The secondary got a boost with cornerback Buster Skrine cleared from the concussion protocol after he missed two games.It was the fourth concussion suffered by Skrine in the last three years, but he isn't concerned about possible long-term effects."I feel good," he said. "If I felt like I couldn't play, then I wouldn't go back out there. ... You can't worry about things day-to-day or down the road. You've got to live for now."Skrine is usually the Jets' slot cornerback, but could see work on the outside, too, against the Bears. Fellow cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quadriceps) is doubtful and Morris Claiborne (shoulder/foot) is questionable.Safety Marcus Maye is also questionable with a broken thumb that sidelined him last week. Doug Middleton, his replacement, is out for the year after tearing a pectoral muscle, so Maye's return would be a big help. The Jets also signed former Cowboys and Browns safety Ibraheim Campbell this week to add depth.
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