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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Guard & Center

Jess Haynie

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Travis Frederick And Zack Martin Disrespected By Pro Football Focus?
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Last season was the first since 2013 that the Dallas Cowboys didn't have the All-Pro tandem of Travis Frederick and Zack Martin anchoring their interior offensive line. With Frederick thankfully returning from last year's medical issues, Dallas looks forward to having their dynamic duo back for the 2019 training camp and beyond.

In addition to Frederick's return, the Cowboys are hoping to enjoy the second-year progress of Connor Williams at left guard. He's reportedly put on weight and continued his physical development to better play the position after converting from a collegiate offensive tackle.

Like most positions for the 2019 Cowboys, there's no questioning who the starters are this year. The real intrigue for camp and preseason comes further down the depth chart, where a surprising draft pick may have a major impact.

Here's the projected depth chart for the guard and center positions in 2019 so far:

  1. C: Travis Frederick, G: Zack Martin, Connor Williams
  2. C: Joe Looney, G: Xavier Su'a-Filo, Connor McGovern
  3. C: Adam Redmond, G: Larry Allen Jr., Cody Wichmann

Dallas may have the best and deepest G/C talent in all the NFL. Joe Looney could start for a lot of teams, and he's back this year as a fantastic reserve coming off a full year of starting experience.

Su'a-Filo started eight games last year, moving up due to an injury to Connor Williams but then holding the job with solid play. Williams earned the job back by the playoffs, but Xavier still has plenty of value.

Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys G Connor McGovern

Given their depth with Looney and Su'a-Filo, it was a surprise when Dallas used their 2019 3rd-round pick on Penn State's Connor McGovern. But if you look beyond this coming season, the pick makes a lot of sense.

Most expect this year to be Offensive Tackle La'el Collins' last with the Cowboys, as he should be too expensive to re-sign next year. McGovern has the versatility to play tackle, but so does Connor Williams. We should expect one of the Connors to be the starting right tackle in 2020, and the other starting at left guard.


Even if McGovern isn't a big factor in 2019, though, he still occupies one of the 53 roster spots. Will Dallas go long to keep him, or Connor steal that spot from Looney or Su'a-Filo?

Joe Looney is the more valuable player given his versatility, but that also makes him a more attractive trade piece. If the Cowboys can get a good return moving Looney to another team, they may be content with McGovern as the reserve center and Su'a-Filo backing up at guard.

Adam Redmond, who was with the team most of last year as the backup center, is also a factor. If the Cowboys trade Looney but don't love McGovern at center, they could also keep Redmond as the sixth interior linemen or even keep him over Su'a-Filo.

Cody Wichmann is an underrated name given that he has 18 career starts from his time with the Rams. But his career hasn't had any momentum since 2016, and he feels more like a camp body now than a legitimate contender for a job.

Lastly, we have to mention Larry Allen Jr. There is no denying the intrigue in the son of arguably the greatest guard in NFL history. But Junior doesn't have his father's physical gifts, and the practice squad is probably the best he can hope for this season.

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OTHER 2019 CAMP PREVIEWS


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Amari Cooper Likely out Until Week 1

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.

The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.

"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."


The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.

However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.


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Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith

Kevin Brady

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.

ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...

Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.


Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.

And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.


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Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List

John Williams

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Auto Draft 6

Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.

"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."

Todd Archer - ESPN.com

This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.

It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.


The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.

While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.

With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.

With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.


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