3 Cowboys Rookies with Opportunities for a Prominent Role

    It isn't often that you look at a draft class and think, there isn't a day one starter in the bunch. That isn't a shot at the talent of the draft class, it's more of a reflection of the state of the Dallas Cowboys roster.

    On 10 of the 11 starters from the Cowboys top 10 unit are currently slated to start and former All-Pro Robert Quinn figures to be the day one starter at right . On , the Dallas Cowboys will have two new starters from their playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. and slot receiver . Witten isn't a new face, but after having a year off, he's back and will likely retake his mantle at the top of the tight end .

    As things stand right now, that doesn't leave a lot of room for rookies to make a dent in the starting lineup, but there are a few who could work their way into serious playing time.

    Under , rookies don't often find themselves as week one starters unless you're an offensive lineman or Ezekiel Elliott. Generally, rookies have had to wait their turn and earn their snaps, but there are several who could see significant playing time right away.

    Trysten Hill, Defensive Tackle

    Heading into , figures to be the first-team 3-technique defensive . His injury history, however, suggests he may not make it through training camp unscathed. Collins has had problems with his feet and those problems have limited him during training camp in seasons past. Any setback to Collins could open the door for fellow 3-technique and second-round pick Trysten Hill.

    is another player who will get snaps at 3-technique a season he’s ha had a lot of success rushing from the interior.

    Even with veterans in the 3-Tech rotation, the Dallas Cowboys will find a way to get Hill on the field. He has an incredible ability to get off the line of scrimmage so quickly that it disrupts the play beforehand it ever gets going.

    Hill comes to the Cowboys with a lot of tools to rush the passer and be a penetrating force on the inside but needs to get better at working off of blocks.

    Hill figures to be part of the 3-tech rotation from the get-go. with the opportunity to earn more snaps along the way. With Hill, COllins, and Crawford, that’s a scary rotation.

    Tony Pollard, Running Back/Kick Returner

    We all know who the starting is for the Dallas Cowboys. It's the two-time rushing champion, Ezekiel Elliott. Barring any unforeseen handed down for Elliott's “altercation,” he'll be the starter again at running back.

    Where fourth-round draft pick has an opportunity to have an impact in 2019 is as the team's kick returner and the primary gadget guy.

    Pollard was a dynamic returner in college, returning seven kicks for touchdowns over three seasons. He's an electric player with the ball in his hands and with calling the shots for the offense, Pollard was the first skill position player the Cowboys drafted for him.

    Pollard is a puzzle piece that Moore can deploy as a running back, , jet sweep option, or even as a blocker for Elliott.

    How Tony Pollard performs could not only have an impact on the running back depth chart but the wide receiver depth chart as well. He could very well supplant as the team’s gadget player who takes the jet sweep snaps.

    If he proves capable of handling backfield snaps during the preseason, he’ll be the back up running back behind Elliott because he’s able to play on offense in a variety of roles and on .

    He’ll be the primary kick returner week one, but he’ll also play on the coverage teams as well. He provides so much more as a back up running back than did or Darius Jackson can.

    It's unknown at this point how much he'll see the field early on, but you can bet that if he has a good training camp, Kellen Moore will figure out ways to get him the football. He’s too dynamic of a player to sit on the bench.

    Donovan Wilson, Safety

    The strong safety position is the one area on the defense where there appears to be a question mark. is the incumbent starter at safety, but the Cowboys brought in veteran George Iloka and drafted in the to add depth and competition to the position.

    Donovan Wilson is a player to get excited about for the Cowboys secondary. He’s a playmaker.

    At Texas A&M, he recorded eight interceptions over three seasons, including five his sophomore season. slowed him down through the last couple years of his collegiate career, but it appears that his playmaking skills are translating to the Cowboys practice field thus far.

    The quickest way for Wilson to have Ann impact is on special teams. His speed and toughness should make him an excellent coverage player on kickoffs and the Cowboys could use him as a gunner inn punt coverage.

    Though he may primarily be a special teams player from the start, he’s got the skills to make a significant impact a series a box safety for the Cowboys defense.

    Wilson's climb to the top of the strong safety depth chart isn't very steep. Sure, there are two veterans in front of him, but Jeff Heath struggled to tackle in 2018 and George Iloka has bounced from Cincinnati to Minnesota and now to Dallas over the last couple of years.

    The rookie safety is a good tackler and a player who can make plays on the football. If he's able to pick up the defense and compete in training camp an the preseason, it's not a stretch to think, he could be starting at some point during the regular season.

    ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

    Though training camp is still five weeks away, there are some very interesting storylines to follow as we inch toward the regular season. Each figures to have a role for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and one of these three may find themselves in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.

    Which of the rookies do you think will end up starting at some point during the regular season?

    John Williams
    John Williams
    Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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    Chuck Wright

    If Wilson makes an impact outside of STs, I’ll need to eat a great deal of crow. OTOH, I think Hill and Pollard are great picks.

    1969 Bird

    John does your computer have spell check? Just asking for a friend
    Otherwise ok article but all are gonna be rotational provided Wilson even makes roster.

    Keith Jones

    I agree everything except the Donvan Wilson I don’t think Dallas is looking for a cheap solution I just don’t a rookie starting at strong safety again I believe the strong safety Dallas needs isn’t on the current roster