The Dallas Cowboys are not your typical 4-12 team. The majority of their starting positions are locked in and because of that, the organization will have some difficult decisions to make when they start to figure out their final 53 man roster.
Fortunately, they still have an entire training camp and four preseason games to keep a close watchful eye over all of their players. They have plenty of time to figure out who’s in and who’s out.
Now, they won’t be calling me to ask for my personal opinion, but I will be keeping an eye on some of the position battles taking place to determine for myself who makes the final cut.
Here are some of the position battles that I’ll be focusing on once training camp finally kicks off on July 28:
This might just be the most interesting position battle to keep track of when practices begin in Oxnard, California on July 30.
We all witnessed the deplorable play from the backup QBs in 2015, and heaven forbid the Dallas Cowboys put themselves in the same situation for 2016 if Tony Romo were to go down with an injury.
The word is that Kellen Moore is the backup QB as of now, but I – for one – would like to see more evidence that he is ready to step up if needed. I’m not completely convinced that he is a better option than Jameill Showers, or if he could beat him outright if they were competing on an equal field.
I just have this gut feeling that Showers has something to his game and, if given the opportunity, he could be a really good backup QB for the Cowboys.
Of course, let’s not forget Dak Prescott. Prescott has an intriguing skill set. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan could see the benefits of using him in a read option type offense if Romo is injured.
The position battle for backup QB on the roster could be a really interesting story line to keep track of throughout training camp and preseason.
Okay, we all know that Ezekiel Elliott was drafted to be the Dallas Cowboys’ featured running back for years to come, and even without ever playing a single down in the NFL, he is still the most talented RB on the roster. So, no one is challenging him for that #1 spot, but the backup spots seem to be wide open. It will be a closely watched battle to see who emerges to back up Ezekiel Elliott.
Darren McFadden’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. It is expected that he will miss the majority of training camp and that gives an opportunity to Alfred Morris to establish himself as Elliott’s main backup.
McFadden’s injury doesn’t just provide an opportunity for Morris, but Darius Jackson as well.
Jackson will now receive more practice repetitions and those extra reps could possibly end up costing McFadden his job. Once McFadden returns from injury, he’ll be fighting for his job, but it may be a little too late if Morris and Jackson have anything to say about it.
I have Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Brice Butler locked in as the top four WRs. So, that leaves one spot up for grabs, and several talented receivers battling it out to make the team.
Lucky Whitehead is probably the favorite to win the last open spot if the Cowboys do decide to only carry five wide receivers, but don’t overlook undrafted rookie Andy Jones.
Jones received an opportunity to run with the first team offense in mini-camp and didn’t do anything to hurt his case of making the team.
The Dallas Cowboys could have a really tough decision to make if it comes down to choosing between Lucky Whitehead and Andy Jones. Each player would bring something different to the team and that’s why this position battle will be worth keeping an eye on.
I personally think that the Dallas Cowboys only carry five CBs on the final 53 man roster, so that leaves two open roster spots remaining at cornerback.
As it stands right now, I have Anthony Brown and Deji Olatoye claiming those final two spots, but it’s no secret that the organization has tried to solidify the defensive back position from the outside.
Veteran CB Brandon Boykin worked out for the Cowboys not too long ago, but hasn’t been signed as of yet. That could all change once the Cowboys get into training camp and get a better idea of how this position battle will shake out.
It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys address the situation considering Morris Claiborne has an injury history and Orlando Scandrick is coming back after a major knee injury.
This position battle is mostly due to the fact that both DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory will miss the first four games of the season due to their suspensions. I think nearly everybody will be paying very close attention to see who can possibly step up and fill in while Lawrence and Gregory are out.
Ryan Russell, Charles Tapper, David Irving, Jack Crawford, and Benson Mayowa are all going to need to step up their game and prove to the coaching staff that they can contribute on a regular basis.
The Dallas Cowboys defense absolutely has to find a way to improve their pass rush, and the fact that both Lawrence and Gregory will miss the first month of the season doesn’t help matters.
What position battles will you be paying close attention to once training camp kicks off for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. I would love to hear from you so that we can discuss this topic further.