Dallas Cowboys: If They Sign Plaxico Burress, When Should They Do It?

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIAugust 10, 2012

Plaxico Burress still needs a team. Is Dallas his next destination? Not at the moment, according to Jerry Jones.
Plaxico Burress still needs a team. Is Dallas his next destination? Not at the moment, according to Jerry Jones.Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's been a rough offseason for Plaxico Burress.

Two receivers who didn't play a single snap of football last year—Randy Moss and Terrell Owens—signed with teams before preseason play began. As the two future Hall of Famers prepare for life with the 49ers and Seahawks respectively, Burress still sits patiently, waiting for a team to call him.

After finishing up a two-year prison sentence for the infamous nightclub incident, Burress signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets last season and had, for what it's worth, an impressive year (45 catches, 612 yards, eight touchdowns).

His days as a No. 1 option as a receiver are all but gone, but he can still be a valuable asset in the red zone and the vertical attack.

Enter the Dallas Cowboys.

As the Cowboys prepare for their first preseason game of the year on Monday against the Oakland Raiders, almost every pressing question about Dallas has been answered, except one:

Who's going to be the third option for Tony Romo to throw the ball to?

Enter, possibly, Plaxico Burress.

This preseason will more than likely answer those questions in some capacity. With Miles Austin out with a hamstring injury and Dez Bryant still a large unknown on where his head's at, the plethora of young receivers that the Cowboys have are going to have to prove they belong on the field with one of the more talented offenses in the league.

On Thursday night, ESPN Dallas' Calvin Watkins reported that both the Cowboys and Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were having preliminary talks about possibly bringing in Burress as the third receiver.

However, hours later, Watkins got the word from the man himself, owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, that he's content with the current core of young guys fighting to be the third guy.

"We haven't even discussed that internally at all," Jones said. "It's not been discussed at any level in our organization one way or the other. We're going to go to war with, so to speak, or go into the season with question marks at the third receiver, there's no doubts, no matter who it is."

So, there's that.

Throughout training camp, several names have come up as possible candidates: Dwayne Harris, Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, Danny Coale, Cole Beasley and the name that comes up every year around this time, Kevin Ogletree.

If the Cowboys can't find a real solution with those six names, then how much more confident is management in their young guys? Burress should only be a last resort signing, but if nobody shows any promise, Dallas better hope he's available by the third preseason game, at the latest.

Coale and Beasley are the two guys that have been the most impressive in camp in terms of the unknown, and Harris, Radway and Holmes are still trying to find their way. Ogletree has had another suspect camp for another season (go figure) and one can wonder how much longer this once-promising receiver will stay relevant.

The first game against the Raiders will tell a lot about where this offense is at, especially the receivers, and it'll start with whoever gets the start on the first team for the one and only drive they'll be on the field. 

If expectations aren't met by the second game, Rosenhaus should tell Plaxico to keep the phone near him.

Jerry Jones may be calling soon, unless he sees something that we don't.