The Cowboys Made a Foolish Mistake By Not Drafting Chargers WR Keenan Allen 8 Years Ago
The Dallas Cowboys currently have one of the NFL’s best receiving corps. However, the front office missed out on a golden opportunity in 2013, skipping over Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen.
Finding elite talent through the NFL draft is the mark of a great front office and scouting department. Jerry Jones and company missed the mark eight years ago.
The Cowboys drafted Terrance Williams ahead of Keenan Allen
The San Diego Chargers drafted Keenan Allen with the No. 76 overall pick in the third round of 2013 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys were on the clock just two picks prior, and they were looking to select a pass-catcher as well.
Instead of making a move for the University of California product, Dallas opted for Baylor’s Terrance Williams. At the time, Williams seemed to be a great pick. He played an integral role in one of college football’s most productive offenses, led by Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
The Baylor standout was sensational during his senior season without Griffin. He reeled in 97 catches for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to becoming a consensus All-American.
Williams displayed an ability to make catches at all three levels. He also excelled at racking up yards after the catch. Still, due to his lack of elite size and speed, he never projected as a potential No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
The third-rounder spent just six seasons in the league, all with the Cowboys. He recorded 232 receptions, 3,377 yards, and 20 touchdowns during that span. His production plummeted after Tony Romo left Dallas. After Williams’ stint with the Cowboys ended, no other NFL teams gave him a chance.
Williams now plays for the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, according to the team’s Twitter.
Keenan Allen has developed into an elite receiver for the Chargers
Keenan Allen enjoyed a fairly productive college career as well. He recorded 205 receptions, 2,570 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns in three seasons with the Cal Bears.
One glaring reason Allen was not regarded among the top wide receivers in the draft class was that California lacked elite quarterback play. The offense, in general, struggled to put points on the board, which capped Allen’s potential and hurt his draft stock.
Despite a less-than-ideal situation in college, the 6-foot-2 wideout landed in a much better destination to begin his NFL career.
From the moment he stepped on the field for the Chargers, Allen has performed. It helped to catch passes from a Pro Bowl gunslinger like Philip Rivers.
The Greensboro, North Carolina native caught 71 passes for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie in San Diego. He earned NFL All-Rookie Team honors in 2013. Through eight full seasons, Allen has recorded four 1,000-yard campaigns.
While Terrance Williams fizzled out way too early, Keenan Allen continues to impress.
The Cowboys DBs will have trouble with Keenan Allen
The Dallas Cowboys have an apparent weakness in their defensive backfield. Opposing quarterbacks picked them apart throughout the 2020 season. Much of the same happened in Week 1 when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers torched the Cowboys for 379 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
Cornerback Trevon Diggs was the lone bright spot in the secondary in Dallas’ season opener. He lined up against Bucs receiver Mike Evans on 39 of his 47 routes. Diggs allowed just one reception for 10 yards on 10 targets.
Dan Quinn will probably want his young corner to match up with Keenan Allen often in the Cowboys’ Week 2 tilt with the LA Chargers.
Allen caught nine passes for 100 yards in the season opener against the Washington Football Team. Quarterback Justin Herbert targeted the four-time Pro Bowler 13 times.
The veteran receiver has become Herbert’s favorite target and serves as a security blanket for the young signal-caller. Allen is one of the most complete route-runners in the NFL, and the inexperienced Cowboys secondary may struggle to keep him contained.
Both offenses are explosive and poised to put up some big numbers in a highly-anticipated matchup.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and NextGen Stats