The Dallas Cowboys have signed a veteran wide receiver who happens to be a former Pro Bowler who has worn a No. 13 jersey.
But, no, it’s not Odell Beckham, Jr.
Dallas (10-3) announced it has signed former Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton to help bolster the team’s playoff push. Hilton, 33, has played 10 seasons in the NFL, though he had remained a free agent for all of the 2022 campaign. Originally a third-round selection for the Colts in the 2012 draft, Hilton had played his entire career in Indianapolis, before his contract expired at the end of the 2021 season.
“Great addition,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Monday. “We’ll get him out there Wednesday and get him acclimated. He had a workout. Everything passed with flying colors. The timing is right. He’s ready to go.”
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Hilton’s production has steadily diminished over the years, though he was known as a speedy receiver who could break big plays down the field. In 10 games last season, Hilton posted career lows in receptions (23), yards (331) and touchdowns (three). Despite that, he maintained a healthy 14.4 yards per reception average.
Still, those numbers are a far cry from his peak from 2014-17, when he made four consecutive Pro Bowls and led the league in receiving with 1,448 yards in 2016.
The Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones had been outspoken about the team’s interest in Beckham, a free agent who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in last year’s Super Bowl who visited the Cowboys on Dec. 5. As recently as Sunday, when the Cowboys narrowly fended off an upset against the Texans, Jones had continued to express interest in signing Beckham.
Given that Beckham’s injury was 10 months ago, there are still questions about whether he is healthy enough to contribute this season.
A three-time Pro Bowler for the Giants, Browns and Rams, Beckham has also worn a No. 13 jersey in his career.
The Cowboys are the current No. 5 seed in the NFC and trail the conference’s best team, the Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) by two games. The Eagles are also in the NFC East, which means that if the Cowboys cannot surpass them; Dallas will have to settle for a wild card spot.
Hilton has caught 631 passes in his career for 9,691 yards, with 53 touchdowns. His yardage total ranks third in Indianapolis Colts history, behind Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
The Cowboys already have a talented and deep receiving corps, led by CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Noah Brown. Dallas will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars in Week 15.
Story Credit: usatoday.com