It was a rather busy morning as the NFL recovered from its Sunday hangover. First there was word of a future Hall of Fame quarterback who’s finally and officially done for the season, but then his team’s owner covered his tracks quickly and told us we were fooled by a false alarm.
Shortly after that we were told we might not be able to watch the league’s most electrifying quarterback for up to a month because of a broken hand, which sounded scary. The follow-up to that report wasn’t nearly as frightening though when Andy Reid said Michael Vick only has a contusion, but is still day-to-day and his Week 4 playing status is uncertain. Ahhh Monday, you devilish little prankster.
But here’s how we know the storm has settled just a little before the whirlwind picks back up prior to Monday Night Football: someone in the Cowboys organization actually felt the need to deny any interest in Randy Moss.
Citing a team source, Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports that the Cowboys would have no interest in Moss if he chose to come out of retirement. Now, we can belittle Moss’ declining ability as I just did for several paragraphs by downplaying the shock value of this report, but it is significant on at least one level. Alright, probably just one.
When Moss had few suitors following the free agency insanity and took that as a hint to fade off into his football afterlife, the immediate assumption was that once a playoff-caliber team has a significant injury at wide receiver, Moss’ phone will ring. Or maybe Moss would do the calling himself, but either way interest would quickly rise, and some sucker would be willing to see if Moss could show his old burst even just for a handful of plays every game to fill a gaping void.
Cowboys receiver Miles Austin will miss tonight’s game against Washington with a hamstring injury, and there’s been widespread speculation that he’ll be out until at least after Dallas’ Week 5 bye. That’s not a major injury, but combined with the frequent bruises that hobble Dez Bryant–the second-year receiver who’s already missed one game–it wouldn’t be outlandish to suggest that the Cowboys could consider adding some veteran insurance at the position. It would be foolish and misguided, but it wouldn’t be outlandish.
On Sunday Adam Schefter reported that Moss is open to returning, but wants to climb aboard the bandwagon of a winning team with a realistic shot at a championship, specifically naming the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Giants, Jets, and Bears. Dallas is the only team on that list that has even a minor injury situation at wide receiver, and their blunt expression of disinterest shows just how far Moss’ value has fallen. The Titans didn’t land on Moss’ privileged list, but they have a truly major injury after likely losing Kenny Britt for the season. List or not, their Moss experiment failed spectacularly once, and they have no desire to re-acquire the man-child who pouted his way through four games in Tennessee last year.
Any time lost to injury in Dallas by Austin or Bryant needs to give young, blossoming Cowboys receivers like Jesse Holley and Kevin Ogletree more opportunities. Blocking their growth by acquiring a 34-year-old receiver who had only 28 receptions last year and 24.6 yards per game makes little sense.