The Dallas Cowboys are looking for someone to step up and take the third receiver position by the horns. They attempted to draft one, but he suffered an early offseason broken foot that has taken Danny Coale out of the running, at least temporarily. His inactivity has opened opportunities for other candidates to show their worth in the OTAs; first last week and continuing into this week. The competition will continue through training camp in August but one name that keeps surfacing as a potential winning bet is Tim Benford; a UDFA out of Tennessee Tech.
Benford isn't the prototypical Cowboys receiver, standing only 5'11" but weighing in at 205 lbs. In recent years, Dallas has tried to stockpile receivers in the 6'2" or 6'3" range; and subsequently have placed Miles Austin in the slot in three-receiver sets. Last year's fifth-round pick Dwayne Harris has the same physical traits as Benford; as does Danny Coale. All three share similarities with Dallas' last consistent slot threat, Patrick Crayton.
But can he play? Benford was given the second highest amount of guaranteed UDFA money by Dallas next to guard Ron Leary. More then Saalim Hakim who made a big buzz before any work was put in for being pursued by 18 different NFL teams. Benford is quicker than Harris and Crayton, running a 4.48 at his pro day. He earned accolades at the East-West Shrine Game for his performance; a theme that many of the Cowboys targets seem to share.
While only one day per week of the OTAs are open to the public; Benford has earned positive reviews from the media both weeks. Last week he earned praise along with Dez Bryant and Austin and this week he and fellow UDFA Cole Beasley got positive marks for making impressions.
It seems that if there's an opportunity, Tim Benford is going to make the most of it. Even if it's only for a roster spot... for the time being.