Only five teams in NFL history have had an offense with three receivers over 1,000 yards. It has not happened since the Larry Fitzgerald-led Cardinals did it in 2008.
How good of a chance do the Cowboys really have of accomplishing this mark?
Dak Prescott threw for 4,902 yards last year. With the departures of Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, and Jason Witten, the Cowboys offense will have 190 potential targets open. The obvious candidate to take on a majority of those targets is the rookie receiver, CeeDee Lamb. Now obviously, Lamb will not get targeted 190 times. Some of those will go to Blake Jarwin and Tony Pollard.
Let’s assume Blake Jarwin gets targeted 90 times (50 target increase from last year), and Tony Pollard gets 45 targets (25 target increase from last year) that leaves 115 targets open for CeeDee Lamb. This is also under the assumption that Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper’s targets will not change, which is obviously not true. They will both likely see a drop-off in targets which leaves even more room for CeeDee Lamb to reach 1000 yards.
In 2008, when the Arizona Cardinals had three 1000 yard receivers, they all had well over 100 targets. A potential obstacle that would prevent the Cowboys from having three guys with over 100 targets is Ezekiel Elliott. Ezekiel Elliott is a top running back in the NFL, so naturally, he will require touches. During the first couple of seasons of Zeke’s career, Elliott was leaned on heavily in order to take the pressure off of Dak Prescott. Now, Prescott is a more than capable quarterback. So the big question is, can the Cowboys field three 1000 receivers and a top running back?
Reggie Wayne caught for 1210 yards on 115 targets, Marvin Harrison caught for 1113 yards on 139 targets and Brandon Stokley caught for 1077 on 102 targets. They also had Edgerrin James who rushed for 1548 yards and was the fourth leading rusher.
Now, out of the five times that the NFL has seen a team with three four-digit receivers, only two teams have had 1000 yard rushers, the 2004 Colts and the 1995 Falcons (Craig Heyward, 1083). Heyward finished eleventh in rushing yards, and in my opinion, that is not elite.
Besides 2017, Elliott has never finished outside of the top four in rushing yards. So only the 2004 Colts had a team with three 1000 yard receivers and an elite running back.
If any team this year was to have three 1000 yard receivers and a great running back, it would be Dallas.
With a new head coach at the helm and new talent on offense, the Cowboys’ offense will only get better.
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