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4 Unanswered Questions Ahead of Cowboys Training Camp

Brian Martin

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4 Unanswered Questions Ahead of Cowboys Training Camp 4

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?

Brian Price

Dallas Cowboys DT Brian Price

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?

Jeff Heath

Dallas Cowboys S Jeff Heath

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?

Blake Jarwin

Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin (Kevin Terrell via AP)

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?

Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

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.

What unanswered questions do you have ahead of the Dallas Cowboys training camp?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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3 Comments
  • Chuck Wright

    WHile in general I loved Da Boys draft, leaving a glaring hole at the 1 is just brain dead stupid. Quality 1 makes the rest of the D better.

    WR will be a rubiks cube for a year or two.

    TE will be VERY interesting.

    Still betting Covington is 1st drafted player cut . .. and sadly there were 1 Techs there.

  • Russ_Te

    2 players who can rise fast at camp if they show that there is a new level on their game: Frazier and Gathers

    I think Frazier will compete head on with Heath for starting SS, should be able to win the job. At FS it seems Woods is the designated starter and it depends on him showing he’s ready in camp. Earl Thomas will probably still be available if Woods wiffs it.

    So I’m guessing the 2018 starters are Woods and Frazier. Both have upside, Woods a lot of upside.

    I just have a feeling Dak is going to lift Gathers into the starting TE job by feeding him the ball in camp. If it works then we divert defensive attention from the WR’s, and everyone benefits from a receiving threat inside. With no premiere WR on the roster, I don’t see a big year in the passing game if nobody is producing at TE.

  • Reynaldo Laporte

    Will Jaylon Smith ever be close to what he was at Notre Dame?
    Can Tyron Smith get over this injury bug?

    Those are my biggest two.

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Starters Make Cowboys Serious Contenders, But Depth is a Concern

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Defense Better Or Worse Then Last Season?

Playing in the National Football Conference, the Dallas Cowboys have a difficult task ahead of them if they are to be serious Super Bowl contenders. Even still, they've become a very underrated football team due to their 9-7 record last season. The Cowboys struggled in many areas and with the Philadelphia Eagles crowned as Super Bowl Champions, everyone has forgotten about America's Team.

2017 was an awful year for the Cowboys. It seemed like a roller coaster of success, putting up an impressive performance one week only to disappoint the next one. Let's be honest with ourselves here and talk about what really ended the Cowboys' last season.

Injuries.

As much as we talk about how there shouldn't be any excuses in football - the Eagles made a huge statement by winning it all with a backup QB and other key starters missing - we can't deny the impact of these injuries.

Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott all missed some time last year, affecting the team's performance week in and week out. Had the starters been healthy, the truth is this team would've been in the playoffs.

Heading into 2018, the Cowboys will face a very similar situation. This year, starters make Dallas a serious contender. Even if they're playing in a conference that will feature a lot of quality teams, the Cowboys are a team that could beat any team in the league if healthy.

Even the dreaded wide receiver position - which has been famous this offseason for the lack of a #1 receiver - won't be as bad as we make it out to be starter-wise. A starting trio of Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley doesn't really sound bad.

Heck, not even Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods starting at safety is concerning. They have what it takes to be decent starters. Sure, Heath isn't a guy who will make the Pro Bowl, but his skills will show on the field once the season starts in September.

The Cowboys' starters will do just fine this season. If the team's fate is up to them, they are in a very good spot. The same can not be said about depth, though.

Except for the defensive line, every other position lacks depth. If Sean Lee goes down, the linebackers stop looking like a three-headed monster. Same goes for the cornerbacks. Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis seem like a good group but as soon as one of them suffers an injury, the Cowboys will be in trouble.

We're in for an exciting season with a lot of young talent waiting to breakout. The Cowboys are underrated this year. They may not be among the NFC's favorites, but they truly have what it takes to replicate the success they had in 2016. However, it seems like circumstances have to be ideal for them to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy.

With a little bit of luck, they'll bounce back this season.

Tell me what you think about "Starters Make Cowboys Serious Contenders, But Depth is a Concern" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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