Training camp has begun and preseason is just around the corner. After weeks of position battles during OTAs and minicamp, things are about to get real once the players put their pads on and begin showing what they're capable of in order to make the roster come cut down day.
Although it isn't exactly a "position battle," the race for the 53rd spot on the roster is always one of the most fun and intriguing stories for each team in the preseason.
The Dallas Cowboys have a ton of legitimate candidates for said spot, and the race for the final place on the roster will continue into the season with David Irving returning until the fifth week of the campaign.
Here are my top candidates for this year's 53rd spot on the roster!
DE Charles Tapper
The Dallas Cowboys' depth at defensive end is definitely an upgrade from last year's. The team added Kony Ealy in free agency and drafted Dorance Armstron in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. But the biggest news at the position is the reinstatement of Randy Gregory.
With Gregory coming back, Tapper's task to make the team did nothing but get harder. Health problems have kept the 25 year-old off the field. With just two career games under his belt, I wonder what his odds are in such a loaded defensive end room.
For him to keep his job, the Cowboys would likely need to carry seven defensive ends to start the season.
RB Darius Jackson
Behind Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith will likely be the #2 guy at running back. It seems like Tavon Austin, despite being listed as a running back, will have a different role and will be involved as a pass-catcher and not as a runner.
So who will be behind Smith? The two names that jump out of the page are Bo Scarbrough and Darius Jackson. Just like many in Cowboys Nation, I loved the idea of having Darius in the roster in 2016. However, I'm leaning towards Scarbrough this time.
Even if Bo is on the roster, could one of the fan's favorites pet cats do enough in the preseason to justify carrying a fourth (not including Tavon Austin) running back on the roster? With one of the nation's top running backs starting, it's tough to imagine so.
TE Rico Gathers
The season is getting closer and closer and we still have no clue who will try to fill the shoes of the great Jason Witten. We know there are some candidates that will make the fight for the starting role interesting though.
Rico Gathers would make for one hell of a story, but the hype around him in 2018 isn't close to what it was a couple of years ago. Nothing has changed to make us believe that this time around, Rico will be what the Cowboys thought they could develop with his skill set.
There are many young candidates for the position. Geoff Swaim has the most experience, making him a virtual lock for the roster. The coaching staff clearly likes Blake Jarwin, they proved it by promoting him from the practice squad to the team to keep him safe from the Philadelphia Eagles. Also a potential starter down the road is fourth round rookie Dalton Schultz.
I don't think Rico Gathers is ahead any of these guys. But, if he manages to impress the staff in training camp, he might earn the roster spot. Otherwise, he'll likely be playing elsewhere.
CB Kam Kelly
An undrafted free agent, I like Kam Kelly's chances of making the cut. You see, the team might be set at cornerback with starters Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones and Jourdan Lewis. I expect Anthony Brown and Marquez White to be the team's backups but I won't be surprised if the team decides to carry a sixth cornerback in Kam Kelly.
Kelly is a big guy, and he looks like the CB that Kris Richard wants on his team. The main reason why I think he has a real chance to make the roster is the fact that he'd be able to play safety if needed. This will help the undrafted rookie since the team is very thin at safety.
WR Cedrick Wilson
Finally, my favorite on this list. Sixth-round draft pick Cedrick Wilson was definitely a steal by the Cowboys' front office. He might be the Cowboy with the most to gain in training camp. The Boise State product has experience playing as an "X" receiver, where he lined up last year in college.
Wilson could provide the team with an additional threat on the passing game. He's good at stretching the field and will make a good job as a vertical threat. We all know that despite the young talent the Cowboys have at wide receiver, it's one of the most uncertain positions heading into the season.
Out of everyone on this list, I like Wilson's chances the best. Although he is a sixth-round draft pick, don't be surprised if he ends up with an important role at some point in the season.
Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release
Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.
We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.
1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants
I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?
The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.
This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.
2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving
We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.
Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.
Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?
3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December
This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.
It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.
Cowboys en Español: Lawrence Extendido, ¿Sigue Prescott?
La saga más importante en este offseason de los Dallas Cowboys llegó a su fin la semana pasada cuando DeMarcus Lawrence por fin firmó su extensión. Tras semanas de estar en un "punto muerto" en las negociaciones, se reportó que ambas partes habían retomado las pláticas el viernes pasado y el mismo día se anunció el trato.
El ala defensiva de 27 años consiguió un contrato de cinco años y 105 millones de dólares. Esto convierte a Lawrence en el tercer defensivo mejor pagado de la liga en promedio por año, detrás solo de Khalil Mack y Aaron Donald. Con 21 millones anuales, muchos no están de acuerdo con pagarle esta cantidad de dinero a un defensivo como D-Law.
Es entendible, dado que nunca es fácil hacer a un jugador uno de los mejores pagados en la liga. Sin embargo, DeMarcus Lawrence lo vale. Pidió dinero del calibre de Von Miller y otros defensivos elite porque ha producido a ese nivel.
No sólo eso, sino que realmente se ha perfilado como el mejor en su posición contra el juego terrestre. El valor que aporta al equipo logra justificar lo que se le pagará. Además, la estructura del contrato realmente ata al equipo solo por tres años a Lawrence. Esto es una victoria para la administración de los Jones.
¿Quién Sigue? Dak Prescott.
Como bien sabemos, DeMarcus Lawrence no era el único jugador que necesitaba recibir una extensión. Pero ahora que está fuera de los quehaceres, Dak Prescott es el centro de atención en Dallas.
En sus primeros tres años en la NFL, los Cowboys han ganado dos veces el título de la NFC East. Ha demostrado ser un líder capaz de dirigir al equipo y ganar en los momentos importantes. De hecho, Prescott es el quarterback con más series ganadoras desde el 2016, cuando entró a la liga. Por si fuera poco, ningún mariscal de campo ha conseguido tantas series así en sus primeras tres temporadas.
DallasCowboys QB Dak Prescott * Most game-winning drives (14) since 2016 * Most game-winning drives in first 3 seasons (14) of any QB since 1950 @dallascowboys @dak
Y no hay que confundirnos. La pregunta no es si lo van a extender o no. La pregunta es: ¿Cuánto le van a pagar al quarterback de 25 años? Sabemos que la administración confía plenamente en Dak para ser el futuro. Le van a pagar. Para darnos una idea, veamos los mejores pagados actualmente según Over The Cap (en promedio por año):
- Aaron Rodgers - $33.5M
- Matt Ryan - $30M
- Kirk Cousins - $28M
- Jimmy Garoppolo - $27.5M
- Matt Stafford - $27M
Muchos ven a Dak como un jugador que merece menos de 25 millones al año, pero no es así como funciona el mercado. A mi parecer, el contrato no bajará de 25 y se acercará a los 30 al año. ¿Mucho? Quizá. Pero en esta liga, si te quieres quedar con un mariscal franquicia, tienes que pagarle bastante para evitar que llegue a la agencia libre.
Y sí, Prescott sigue bajo contrato en 2019 pero la extensión seguramente vendrá antes. El valor por un QB sube cada año al igual que todas las posiciones y con un jugador como Patrick Mahomes en la AFC, habrá un brinco considerable el próximo offseason.
Cuando Prescott firme una extensión, habrá mucha división entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Personalmente, veo a Dak como un jugador franquicia. Por ahora, estemos contentos porque Lawrence se queda en casa.
Cowboys Come Out In Full Force To Support Dirk Nowitzki In His Final Home Game
Last night was a major one in the NBA, with two legends and future Hall of Famers playing in their last respective home games. Of course, the legend which means the most to Dallas-area sports fans is Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki, who gave a teary-eyed farewell to the Dallas faithful on Tuesday night, finally admitting "it's time."
It's no secret that Nowitzki has been supportive of all DFW teams while apart of the Mavs organization, and last night the Cowboys returned the favor, showing up in full force to support Nowitzki in his final game.
Dallas Cowboys at tonight's Mavericks game: Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, Connor Williams, Joe Looney, Jeff Heath, Travis Frederick, La'el Collins, Randall Cobb, Allen Hurns, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Tavon Austin https://t.co/546B30dqPY
Dirk Nowitzki put up 30 points and 8 rebounds in the Mavericks 120-109 win, an excellent way for the future Hall of Famer and fan favorite to go out in front of his home fans.
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