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3 Position Battles to Watch This Summer

Several players will be fighting for roster spots and starting positions for the Cowboys this summer. Those battles will only intensify with voluntary workouts underway and drawing near.

Tough decisions will be made as Dallas looks to repeat as champions. Some battles may have a clear winner early. Others will be hotly contested until the end of the . New battles may also emerge if the Cowboys decide to sign a or two.

There are many, but here are three of the most intriguing position battles this offseason:

James Washington vs. Jalen Tolbert for WR3

With and holding down the top two spots, Washington and Tolbert will duke it out for the third.

Both will play their first season as a Cowboy in 2022. Washington arrives after playing four years with the , catching 114 passes for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns. Tolbert was Dallas’ third-round draft choice after winning 2021 Sun Belt at .

Washington is coming off a disappointing 2021 campaign. However, it’s worth noting his was the decaying corpse of Ben Rothlisberger, who had the worst Pro grade of any quarterback last season. Washington is still a good athlete and a deep-ball threat, averaging 14.3 yards per catch as a Steeler.

Selecting Tolbert in the was a perfect choice. He caught 82 passes for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns with South Alabama last season, ending his college career with two First-team All-Sun Belt selections. Tolbert excels at contested catches and presents quick vertical speed at the top of his routes.

Washington is on a one-year “prove it” deal while Tolbert is the exciting rookie. With no clear frontrunner, the battle between the two should be fun to watch.

Quinton Bohanna vs. John Ridgeway vs. Trysten Hill vs. Carlos Watkins for DT roster spots

With and being the only genuine roster locks at the position, four guys will battle for the remaining spots. Assuming Dallas carries five defensive tackles into the season, Hill, Watkins, Bohanna and Ridgeway will compete for three spots. The former three are veterans, while Ridgeway, a 2022 fifth-round selection out of Arkansas, is the new shiny toy.

Dallas’ investment in Ridgeway by way of a recent draft choice means he’ll likely make the roster. Hill is coming off his best season, and Watkins was the favored DT to line up alongside Odighizuwa after Gallimore suffered a dislocated elbow in the preseason. This leaves Bohanna as the likely casualty, who failed to impress in his rookie season last year.

However, that’s not a sure thing. The Cowboys could keep Bohanna and move on from Hill or Watkins. All four could earn significant playing time in 2022, making for an exciting .

Chris Naggar vs. Jonathan Garibay for starting kicker role

In February, Naggar signed a reserve/futures contract with the Cowboys after spending his rookie season with the and . He played no games for the Jets and one for the Browns, converting a 37-yard field goal in a game against the . To give him some competition, Dallas brought Garibay in. as an

Garibay made 15 of his 16 field goal attempts last season for Texas Tech, missing just one of his 50 extra point attempts. His career-long as a Red Raider was from 62 yards out, which happened to be a game-winner against Iowa State. He and Naggar are unproven at the pro level and will be looking for their first real shot on an NFL roster.

This battle will likely last until the day of final roster cuts. Both should receive equal reps in training camp and preseason games. Hopefully, one will be a more consistent than former Cowboy , who missed 13 field goals in two seasons with Dallas.

Nick Coppola
Nick Coppola
Student at the University of Oklahoma. Reporter for OU Daily. Junior Writer for Inside The Star. Contributor for Guns Up Nation.

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Best DT four, OO, NG, CW, JR. Love the Ridgeway pick. 6’5″, 325, giant wingspan, can hold the point, shed, and pursue down the line and backside. A steal in the fifth rd. IMO, will be better than Hill. So the battle should be bet. Hill and Bohanna for fifth spot. Of course only time on the field will tell.


Washington & Tolbert will be fighting for WR2 to start the season. Once Gallup makes it back to full speed, they’ll likely get bumped to WR3 and WR4. Tolbert “should” get the nod based on his draft position, traits and contract. Washington was insurance in case Gallup struggles to get back up to speed, and they failed to get a viable candidate in the draft. Washington has the experience advantage, but neither has chemistry with Dak, yet. It all depends on who can gain Dak’s trust by being the most reliable. Washington failed to establish much trust in Pitt with any of the QB’s besides his college QB, Mason Rudolph. My money is on Dak embracing the youngster and working with him as much as he can to give him a leg up.

Barring an injury or implosion by one of the other DT’d, I suspect this is Hill’s last camp. Even in his best “flashes”, he hasn’t been all that impressive. Even when he bursts through the line, he more often than not, initially whiffs and has to try to run down the ball carrier/QB. He’s just not showing the reliability they need. Maybe they can trade him to the Raiders for a 2028 7th-rounder. 😉

Lawrence C. Baker

I think James Washington and Jalen Tolbert should both make the team. Nosh Brown’s sorry ass should be the odd man out. He’s done nothing in Dallas except steal game checks week after week. If there’s anybody out there that thinks he’s done something significant, please post a comment in his defense!

Jess Haynie

Yes, Noah Brown has stuck around since 2017 because he’s “sorry” and has “done nothing.” Great analysis, Lawrence.

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