This may be because there’s an exciting rookie behind them, lots of talent at their position, or someone emerged last season. Whatever the case, those key battles will be won or lost this offseason.
Here are three Dallas players who may lose their starting roles this offseason;
C Tyler Biadasz
Biadasz has spent two seasons with the Cowboys, battling Joe Looney for the starting center spot in 2020 and earning it full-time in 2021. Last season, he improved on his rookie campaign, allowing no sacks.
But, the Cowboys signed Boston College center Alec Lindstrom as an undrafted free agent, one of the best offensive linemen that wasn’t selected in this year’s draft. With Biadasz still having much room to improve and head coach Mike McCarthy hinting at an open competition at center, Lindstrom has a chance to take the job.
This could be a make-or-break offseason for Biadasz, and his potential replacement seems to be lined up.
DT Carlos Watkins
After an injury to Neville Gallimore, Carlos Watkins stepped in to replace him as a starter. He made the most of his chance, recording a career-high 32 tackles and scoring a pick-six touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in week 13.
But now, Gallimore is healthy and may get his full-time starting role back. Fellow defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa emerged last season with a solid rookie campaign, recording 36 tackles and two sacks.
How defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will rotate the defensive tackles this season is unknown. What is known is that there’s much competition at the position, with Trysten Hill, Quinton Bohanna, and fifth-round selection John Ridgeway all fighting for a spot alongside Gallimore and Odighizuwa.
If Watkins wants to remain a starter, he must impress this offseason.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
As last season went on, the calls to start Tony Pollard over Elliott grew. Whether who’s better between the two is up for debate, but what’s a fact is Pollard is the more efficient runner.
Pollard garnered 5.5 yards per carry last season, tied for fourth in the league. He also received a 90.2 rushing grade from Pro Football Focus and averaged a 10-yard run every 7.6 carries.
It may just be me living in a dream world, but I think Pollard can grab the starting role this offseason. How big those chances are is unclear, but it should definitely be in the discussion.