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What do We Learn From Cowboys Updated 2021 Depth Chart?

There is an updated over at DallasCowboys.com heading into the season opener. It shows the team’s newest signings and also reveals a few interesting notes at certain positions. What can we learn from this information?

Though listed as “unofficial,” this depth chart is on the team’s official website and is as good a source as any for how the currently view their players. While most of it is as you’d expect, there are a few nuggets that I extracted on review.

Tight End

is listed as the starter over . Though both should get extensive playing time this year, this nod to Jarwin is intriguing after Schultz’s strong performance in 2020.

Coming into the new year I thought Dallas might let Dalton keep the starting spot and make Jarwin earn it back. But it appears that Blake didn’t get Wally Pipp’d and, just like last year, is the Cowboys handpicked TE of the future.

Could that change as the season goes?  Of course; Schultz was good enough last year that Dallas won’t tolerate much struggling from Jarwin. But as long as he’s healthy we have seen Blake’s athleticism and the potential for him to do damage in this is high.

Center

is listed as the backup with on the 3rd string. This is especially noteworthy now that we know will miss Week One, pulling into starting duty.

If something did happen to this Thursday then how would the Cowboys now respond? Sliding Williams to center was based on having McGovern to step in at . It will likely come down to where Dallas feels Farniok can better perform, either taking over at center or guard.

Missing Martin is bad enough. Let’s hope this theory never gets tested.

Defensive Tackle

is currently on the 1st-team along with rookie . This puts as a backup; surprising given how he and Watkins first joined the team.

Urban and Watkins got nearly identical 1-year contracts from Dallas but with an important distinction. Brent’s contract was fully guaranteed while Carlos’ had minimal guaranteed money. That indicated the team was higher on Urban back when both were signed as .

Now a depth chart listing may not mean much once you see the actual and how much either guy was on the field. But to now see Watkins listed as a starter over Urban may tell us that something shifted during camp.

Linebacker

is still listed as a starter along with and . Is that veteran deference or a sign that the coaches aren’t as down on him as 99% of ?

As was just mentioned, we’ll see down the road how much Smith actually is on the field over and . NFL teams spend most of the game in nickel defense now and we’ve heard that Parsons and Neal will be the primary pair for that scheme.

If Jaylon is only “starting” in the base defense then his snap count may be pretty low when all is said and done.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

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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13 Comments

  1. What a weak comment. Smith’s contract is nowhere close to those of the top players at the position, and if he were still performing as he was at the time of the extension he would be an outright bargain. It’s not an “overpay” when a guy who earned the money then falls off hard…it’s just a contract that went bad. That’s what happened with, for example, Dez Bryant, who at the time was 100% worth the contract extension he got but soon after saw his body break down. Smith also isn’t physically “slow”; try again on that.

  2. Smith & Wolf are vital to this team! Not stretching out these rookies & veterans to injury is a smart move in a long season! Cowboys have a top notch core of good linebackers that can carry a season! I think the interior d-line needs to have a great yr! Starting with Tompa!

  3. LVE is worst option on team to play MLB!
    Sliding him elsewhere prevents Cox & Neal from developing.

    People keep confusing JSmith and LVE for playing the same position. JSmith can play all positions… LVE can play none (not full-time anyway).

    I say re-sign LVE at vet-minimum, re-up with Neal to keep him in town.

    If I was JSmith, I’d sit-out and demand trade. Outside of DAL- it’s obvious the politics in Valley Ranch is overriding common-sense.

  4. Since end of draft- I was barking “resign Looney!”!!!
    Biadzs is overrated, as a starter, and never was able to solidify OL… even when flanked by CWilliams and ZMartin. CWilliams and Biadzs we’re juggling plates together. Now you need a solid OC! This spells trouble ahead of week1!

  5. Neal is a FA so if he has a good year, will be difficult to resign him. Parsons and Cox are the future at MLB and WSLB. Smith will be gone after this year, so we’ll need a SSLB. Neal plays the same position as Cox. LVE would be a good resign if he shows he can stay healthy.

  6. We need more back up in OL on the practice squad just in case. We don’t need a total of 4 QBs. We need to cut Ben D from the practice squad to make room for another OL. Ben is just an “Arm” for back up receivers and he shouldn’t be in a game anyway.

  7. I dont care what anyone says Cox needs to be in there at LB with Parsons,that’s pretty stupid to leave him as a back up,we need to trade Jaylon Smith away he is not a good Lb hes slow misses tackles hes garbage get rid of him ASAP this defense deserves a new start and it will be one of the best with Micah and Jabril

    • Agreed that Schultz was great last year. But for three years now, the coaches have apparently thought Jarwin was the better player. Maybe Blake will be an ever brighter spot for the 2021 team?

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