Dallas Cowboys signing former Jaguars’ 1,000-yard WR Allen Hurns
Allen Hurns is set to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports Friday. His new contract is worth $12 million over two years, according to Pro Football Talk.
Hurns, 26, is three years removed from his breakout 2015, when the former undrafted Miami product secured 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. That season earned him a contract extension from former Jaguars’ top decision maker Dave Caldwell, but Hurns struggled to live up to it in two subsequent seasons, when he totaled 961 yards and five touchdowns and missed 11 games because of injuries.
Jacksonville recently released Hurns and let his former 1,000-yard partner in crime, Allen Robinson, join the Chicago Bears in free agency, leaving recently re-signed Marqise Lee, newcomer Donte Moncrief and promising second-year players Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole to pick up Jacksonville’s receiving slack.
Hurns agrees to join the Cowboys one day after Deonte Thompson signed a one-year deal to help bolster Dak Prescott’s lackluster WR corps. Thompson, 29, had easily his best year as a receiver last season, when he led the Buffalo Bills with a 15.9-yard catch average in 11 games (seven starts) following his release from the similarly wideout-challenged Chicago Bears. Thompson is hardly a complete receiver — he’s been primarily used as a returner and reserve psas catcher — but his speed was sorely absent for Prescott and Co. and should help everyone from Bryant to Ezekiel Elliott if it’s used properly.
Of course, the leader of Dallas’ WR corps, Dez Bryant, remains on the roster — for now — and although we like the additions of Hurns’ size and physicality and Thompson’s vertical speed to the mix, it hardly addresses the WR1 void that cutting Bryant would leave.
That’s why it seems more likely now than it did as recently as three weeks ago that Bryant and his $16.5 million cap charge could stick around this season.
And although Bryant’s struggles over the past three seasons, when he’s failed to eclipse 1,000 yards, 70 catches and double-digit touchdowns after doing so from 2012-14 are about more than a poor supporting cast, Hurns’ arrival as a solid WR2 should help eliminate some of his burden. Hurns has thrived in the slot but also has the frame to play outside, unlike Cole Beasley, and he brings more dependability than Terrance Williams, assuming Hurns can stay on the field.
As for Blake Bortles’ arsenal, it’s brimming with upside, but we didn’t understand Tom Coughlin’s decision to let a former Pro Bowler in Robinson walk and overpay Lee and Moncrief to be the replacement plan. The Jaguars led the NFL in rushing last season, when they had the most attempts since the 2014 Houston Texans. Because of their unproven WR corps and quarterback who received an extension that was hardly a true endorsement from team brass, expect Jacksonville to try and lean even more on Leonard Fournette and an O-line now anchored by Andrew Norwell.