As things stand right now, the Dallas Cowboys look to have had a fantastic off-season. From the outside looking in, it really looks as if the Cowboys have upgraded their roster through free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft, but there is one area that should cause some concern.
Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys have lost some of their top leaders this off-season. Jason Witten, the longest tenured Cowboy, decided to hang up his cleats and retire. He was arguably the one player whose voice carried the most weight among his teammates, and that kind of leadership is nearly impossible to replace.
Then, the Cowboys decided to release both Orlando Scandrick and Dez Bryant, who are both probably underrated for their leadership role over the years. Both players were the ultimate competitors and were able to push both themselves and their teammates to their limits. They also weren’t shy about voicing their opinions when the chips were on the table.
Between Jason Witten (15), Orlando Scandrick (10), and Dez Bryant (8), that’s over 30 years of experience and leadership lost in one off-season that the Dallas Cowboys will somehow have to replace. I don’t know about you, but I find that just a little bit concerning.
If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to watch All or Nothing: The Dallas Cowboys on Amazon Prime. You can see firsthand the kind of leaders Witten, Scandrick, and even Bryant were in the documentary last year and how they tried to inspire their teammates through the hard times.
As I sit here right now, I’m just not sure who is going to step up into those roles heading into the 2018 season. Somebody’s going to have to rise to the occasion, but who’s ready to toe the line?
It’s going to be really interesting to see who the Dallas Cowboys team captains will be in 2018. This could end up being the first indication we get as to who the next “leaders” are moving forward.
There’s no denying Jason Witten has left some rather large shoes to fill, but the Dallas Cowboys have some pretty good candidates who I believe are capable of rallying the troops. Their voices may not carry as much weight as Witten’s did right away, but there’s not many players around the league whose voice does.
Sean Lee is obviously the first name that comes to mind, but he could be coming to the end of his career as well. He is basically another coach in both the meeting room and on the field, so he’s a logical choice to carry a little bit more of the weight moving forward, even if he doesn’t have much time left.
As the quarterback, Dak Prescott has been the leader on the offensive side of the ball for a few seasons now, which kind of comes naturally because of the position he plays. He will now be expected to expand that role even more, and I believe he is more than capable of doing just that.
Sean Lee and Dak Prescott are just the first two names that come to my mind, but there are several others ready to step up their leadership responsibilities. The good thing is, Jason Witten is the perfect example to follow.