Cowboys: Preseason Primer

Jun 14, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Dallas Cowboys training camp right around the corner and preseason games shortly after, it is time for a preseason primer.

The Dallas Cowboys are about to start their march toward what many hope is a super season. Questions are abound when talking about the Cowboys. Some answers will be predictable (yes, Ezekiel Elliot will be a beast), some will surprise, and others may never really get answered.

On offense, the questions are not only about the health of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, but can the rest of the Cowboys stay healthy throughout the preseason.

Another question on offense is how exactly will the running game shape out? Ezekiel Elliot is considered the eventual starter, but Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris are not exactly terrible running backs. Add in Lance Dunbar and the Cowboys have a stable of horses to run just about any team out of the stadium,

The only real question on offense is the wide receivers behind Dez Bryant. Terrance Williams is a fine number two, but Brice Butler intrigued many last season. Cole Beasley is one of the best slot receivers in the NFL, but after them, there is a lot of raw talent, and not a lot of answers. Where fans should be looking is who will come out as the fourth and fifth receivers. That might also answer who the kick and punt returner(s) are.

The offensive line starters are set, but the depth is something the Cowboys will be looking at as camp moves forward. The depth will be most likely centered around who is the better run blocker. So when watching preseason games, whoever opens the better running lanes will most likely get the nod over someone who’s better in pass protection.

The defense, on the other hand, is where majority of the questions with the Cowboys lie. Moving Byron Jones to safety and the return of Orlando Scandrick will help the secondary. Where the major issues are is the other safety and the pass rush. The linebackers should be fine, even with the suspension of Rolando McClain and Jaylon Smith still recovering.

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The other safety next to Jones will be a heavily fought for position battle in camp. Barry Church, J.J.Wilcox and rookie Kavon Frasier will most likely be battling for the position. Before anyone says it I am hoping Jeff Heath isn’t anywhere near the starting safety position, so I left him off. Watching how they use Jones will most likely answer which skill set they use next to him. Money should be on Church, but it should be an open battle.

The pass rush is perhaps the biggest question mark. Many have forgotten David Irving and his steady improvement. While the addition of Cedric Thornton might be a better addition than many think when it comes to pass rush, there is still a lot of talent missing the first four games.

Watching how Rod Marinelli uses the veterans and rookies in a rotation will show who stays and who goes. Guys who can close gaps and get to the quarterback, will find a place on the team.

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So now we all wait to see how training camp goes. Hopefully with a little luck, the Cowboys stay healthy. The offense should be a fun thing to watch, the defense on the other hand might be a little messy. But, that is why training camp is held. To answer the questions.