Following back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn (knee) missed 15 games in 2007 after injuring his knee during a July practice and undergoing two arthroscopic surgeries before the season. Ready to return in 2008 and proclaiming that his knee is healthy, Glenn, who has 593 catches and 44 touchdowns in his career, has been locked in a disagreement with the team over a waiver agreement.
In May, Dallas asked that Glenn sign an injury settlement that would refund more than two-thirds of his salary should he re-injure the same knee. The team also requested that the 33-year-old undergo microfracture surgery, which likely would cause him to miss the entire 2008 season. Glenn wants to play, so he has declined that procedure with the permission of doctors.
After originally demanding his release, Glenn has since retracted his statement and said he wants to work things out with management. If the speed threat proves he's healthy and remains in Dallas, he could produce some solid results for the second-highest scoring team (28.4 points per game) in 2007. However, the presence of No. 2 wideout Patrick Crayton likely will detract from his fantasy potential.
With wideout Terrell Owens, tight end Jason Witten and Crayton, Dallas already has three potent options even before they factor Glenn into the equation. Glenn can be a compelling speed threat if he's 100 percent, but he might not receive enough touches to make a consistent impact for fantasy squads.
Glenn played four snaps in Week 17 last year and caught two passes for 30 yards in the Cowboys' Divisional Round game. The veteran notched 132 receptions with 13 touchdowns in 2005 and '06 combined after his '04 season was cut short when he injured ligaments in his left foot, so he has rebounded well from injuries before.
In '06, Glenn posted 41 of his 70 receptions after Week 8 - quarterback Tony Romo's first full game as a starter - and was targeted 70 times (12 in the red zone) in Weeks 8-17. A reunion with Romo for a longer period of time could help Glenn.
A Glenn-less offense
When Glenn was on the sidelines in '07, Crayton grabbed the baton; the 29-year-old caught 50 passes for 697 yards with seven touchdowns as the team's second complement to Owens. He's the No. 2 wideout, but he remains the third option behind Owens and Witten in the passing game.
Glenn's absence from minicamp also has allowed third-year wideouts Sam Hurd and Miles Austin to go under the microscope at recent workouts. Hurd was a somewhat reliable receiver in three-wide sets and third-down situations last year; Austin has blazing speed that the Cowboys want to utilize more outside special teams. There's a good chance that the club could showcase both receivers a little more often.
The team also has hinted at trying out embattled cornerback Adam Jones for some plays at wideout if he is reinstated for the regular season; along with Hurd's and Austin's targets, this could further diminish Glenn's chances on the field.
Fantasy football outlook
The fact that Glenn declined microfracture surgery contributes to his fantasy risk despite the fact that he received clearance from doctors; any time the procedure is merely brought up in conversation, fantasy owners shiver with trepidation. His brief history with Romo offers a glimmer of hope, but he likely would be the fourth receiving option at best even in a full season.
There are other receivers in Glenn's draft bracket that have more prominent roles in their team's offense. One option is Tennessee Titans wideout Roydell Williams (ankle), who had 55 catches, 719 yards and four touchdowns last year. He will once again be a top receiving option there and could return to workouts sometime next week after breaking his ankle late last season. Carolina Panthers wideout Muhsin Muhammad (40-570-3) is competing with D.J. Hackett (knee) for the No. 2 spot and could be a good late-round value if he earns regular targets.
With Romo successfully using an Owens-Witten-Crayton trio last year, Glenn will need to fight for time in order to gain potent fantasy value - if he can stay healthy. If Glenn catches on with another team, there's a slight chance that he could see a bigger window of opportunity to contribute. Until then, given Dallas' crowded corps and his recent injury history, putting stock in him as anything more than a No. 6 fantasy wideout is a gamble you shouldn't force yourself to take.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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