Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Players To Watch In 2017 ⋆
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Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Players To Watch In 2017

Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Players To Watch In 2017

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Players To Watch In 2017

Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Players To Watch In 2017

The Dallas Cowboys training camp is officially underway, which means the start of the 2017 season is just around the corner. There are definitely no shortage of storylines or specific players to keep a watchful eye on. Everyone has their own opinions about who they want to follow throughout the Cowboys training camp, but I wanted to share with all of you the top five I will be paying close attention to and why I chose these specific players.

I personally didn’t have a hard time narrowing it down to just five, but there are numerous other players I could have listed instead. I decided to specifically target the ones who could play a large/important role for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017. All five of these players listed below could end up being key to success this season or one of the reasons why the team doesn’t meet expectations.

Jaylon SmithJaylon Smith, LB

How could you create a list of players to watch throughout the Dallas Cowboys training camp and not list second-your linebacker Jaylon Smith? It doesn’t really matter if you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan or not, you’re rooting for this guy to return from a serious knee injury and compete at a high level.

I fully expect the Dallas Cowboys coaching/training staff to take things slowly with Smith throughout the Cowboys training camp, which will make every single rep he takes in practice even more important. Everybody certainly has high hopes Smith can return to his pre-injury form, but he still has some obstacles to overcome in order to reach that point and training camp is just the next steppingstone.

Chidobe AwuzieChidobe Awuzie, CB

The Dallas Cowboys pretty much completely overhauled the secondary during the off-season and nearly everyone will be watching to see how the new look defensive backs perform. The Cowboys training camp will be the first chance a lot of us will get to see some of these players in person and I personally can’t wait to see how Chidobe Awuzie looks when the pads come on.

Awuzie’s versatility to play different positions in the secondary is another reason I’ll be watching him closely. It could help determine what kind of role he plays on defense in 2017. If he can hold his own against the Cowboys talented WRs, he should be just fine against anybody else he might have to cover when the season gets underway.

DE, Taco CharltonTaco Charlton, DE

The Dallas Cowboys were in desperate need of upgrading their pass rush after the completion of the 2016 season. They tried to address one of their biggest weaknesses in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the selection of Taco Charlton.

Charlton certainly looks the part of an NFL defensive end and played at a powerhouse collegiate program at Michigan. He will be given every opportunity to earn a large role in 2017 and hopefully help give opposing QBs nightmares. That is why everyone will watch him closely throughout training camp.

La'el CollinsLa’el Collins, RT

I don’t know about you, but I will personally be paying extra close attention to La’el Collins and how he performs now that he switched from left guard to right tackle. I’m really not a big fan of the move because I believe he has All-Pro potential as a left guard, but the coaching staff obviously knows a lot more than I do.

What I will be watching most about Collins and his position change is how he moves out in space. This is one of the reasons I believe he is better on the inside as an OG. I think his skill set is best utilized when he’s playing in a phone booth. He can use his strength, speed, and agility to get the better of defensive tackles, much like Zack Martin is able to do. I just don’t know how well that will transition out in space.

OG Jonathan Cooper

(James D. Smith via AP)

Joe Looney & Jonathan Cooper, LG

Okay, this is more about the left guard position than the players, but I have a huge concern about the Cowboys current options. I think both Joe Looney and Jonathan Cooper are probably the favorites to win the LG position, but both are probably a downgrade from Ronald Leary.

Cooper hasn’t been able to remain healthy or live up to his first-round pedigree since entering the NFL. Looney on the other hand is probably best suited as a backup instead of a starter. I will be paying particularly close attention to how these players perform in training camp and preseason. I honestly believe the Cowboys should look for outside help, which is why I think signing Orlando Franklin should be a priority.

Who will you be watching throughout the Cowboys training camp?

Brian Martin

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.

6 Comments
  • StillHateTheGiants

    I like your key players and would also add Chaz Green to the mix. I am also concerned about LG, if he could make that transition AND stay on the field the OL could be solid all the way across.

    • Brian Martin

      I honestly thought that Chaz Green would end up being a swing tackle. I’m actually little surprise that he’s getting a shot at LG.

    • John Williams

      I agree. Green seems to be holding his own so far in camp at LG and made improvements from Minicamp, according to Bryan Broaddus. There is definitely more incentive for Green to win the job. He has the higher investment being a third round pick. If he can stay healthy, I have a feeling he wins the job.

      • Brian Martin

        Hopefully, Green can stay healthy for an entire season. I think the starting five of Smith, Green, Frederick, Martin, and Collins is the best unit the Cowboys can put on the field. Although, I still prefer Green as the RT and Collins as the LG, but I’m willing to trust in the coaching staff.

  • John Williams

    I’ll add some honorable mentions to your list.

    Rico Gathers, Damontre Moore, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath, Ryan Switzer, Charles Tapper.

    So much intrigue this year with a ton of guys who have a lot of potential to help the team in their first year with the team.

    • Brian Martin

      John, you’re right. There are so many intriguing players to watch throughout training camp and preseason it makes it a little difficult to narrow it down. Things are just getting started, but it’s already been really interesting.

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