After this week’s short mini-camp, there will be a long wait until the Dallas Cowboys training camp finally kicks off. Unfortunately, that means there isn’t going to be a lot going on until training camp gets underway. But, there are quite a few unanswered questions that still need to be answered.
Today, I want to focus on some of these unanswered questions to give you all something to think about while we wait for the Dallas Cowboys training camp to finally get here. I’ve narrowed it down to my top four, but please feel free to use the comment section at the end of the article to share any questions or concerns you may have.
Let’s get started…
Who’s the Starting 1-Technique?
As things stand right now, the Dallas Cowboys have tremendous depth on the defensive line. They are completely stacked at defensive end and have a plethora of players who can play the 3-technique, but the same can’t be said about their 1-technique options.
Before the Dallas Cowboys training camp officially gets underway, it looks as if Brian Price is the favorite to start on the inside of the DL at the 1-tech. He performed admirably last season in the same role, but isn’t what you would call a difference maker. He is serviceable, but isn’t going to be an impactful player.
The time between now and when training camp begins might be a good time for the Cowboys to reevaluate their stance on a big bodied/space eating DT. Jonathan Hankins is the best free agent still available and he would be an immediate upgrade over Price. It’s unlikely the Cowboys make any moves, but Hankins is someone I am going to keep an eye on because he would immediately be the best 1-tech with the Cowboys.
Who are the Starting Safeties?
Out of all the positions on the Dallas Cowboys roster, the safety position might be the thinnest. With Byron Jones moving back to cornerback, someone is going to have to step up and start next to Jeff Heath, who should reprise his starting role.
It’s going to be really interesting to see how Kris Richard decides to deploy his starting safeties in 2018. He really doesn’t have very many options to choose from and doesn’t have the talent he had when he was with the Seattle Seahawks.
The door isn’t completely shut on possibly adding Earl Thomas, but I think it’s highly unlikely. That means second-year DB Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier are the best options currently on the roster to start next to Heath. We could see some kind of rotation with the safeties this season, but hopefully someone will take advantage of their opportunity in training camp and separate themselves from the competition.
Who Replaces Jason Witten at TE?
First off, there isn’t anyone who can replace someone like Jason Witten on or off the field. He is the epitome of what you want in a player and those kind of athletes are hard to come by. But, someone is going to have to try to replace some of his production.
Right now, Geoff Swaim is the only TE on the Cowboys roster with a career catch in the NFL. It’s a little worrisome to think about all of the inexperience at the position, but it also makes it a little exciting to find out how all of this will turn out.
The Dallas Cowboys need to find a quality starter. They ask their TEs to do a lot within the offensive scheme. They need to be efficient as both a blocker and receiver. Swaim has proven to be a good blocker, but not so much as a receiver so far. Rico Gathers has shown flashes as a receiver, but leaves a lot to be desired as a blocker. Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schulz have a chance to be the “complete package”, but may need time to develop.
Who Fits Where at Wide Receiver?
With so many new faces at the wide receiver position for the Dallas Cowboys it is nearly impossible to accurately predict who is going to fit where this season. The only thing we know right now is that Cole Beasley will likely be the only WR on the roster who has played a significant role with the Cowboys in the past. Terrance Williams‘ future with the team is somewhat in doubt with his recent off the field mishap.
Now that Dez Bryant is gone, the Dallas Cowboys probably aren’t going to have a true #1 WR. I personally don’t think they need one, but that’s just my opinion. I believe they can be just as productive without a #1 WR and be just as productive in the passing game. In order to do that though, they need to find some solid production from some of these new faces.
Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Tavon Austin, among others will all have to be productive in their first year in Dallas. I don’t expect any one of them to replace Dez Bryant on their own, but collectively they have to work well with Dak Prescott and become dependable week after week. That’s the only way the Cowboys don’t become one-dimensional as an offense this season.