Dallas Cowboys: Who will be the teams X factor on offense?

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 14: Wide receiver Allen Hurns
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 14: Wide receiver Allen Hurns /

The Dallas Cowboys will be working with a lot of new weapons in their arsenal. Which player will have the biggest impact on offense? Let’s take a look.

There is a lot of hype within the Dallas Cowboys organization about the players that have been brought in during the offseason. The organization feels as if they have gotten better in all phases (offense, defense, special teams).

Few positions have been covered like wide receiver this offseason, but patching up the offensive line remains a priority. Which players will have the largest impact as training camp approaches? Let’s take a look at some playmakers who could have a big role for Dallas in 2018.

Offensively the weapons that will get everyone’s attention are obvious, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. They are the players’ defensive coordinators will pay the most attention to around the league but someone else has to step up.

There are thoughts that a surprise playmaker should come from the Cowboys newly rebuilt receiving corps. Players like Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, and to a lesser extent, Tavon Austin are expected to have a pretty dramatic impact.

With Dez Bryant and Jason Witten gone there will be a ton of targets available for these newer players and someone will prove to be Prescott’s favorite option. One has to think if any problems with the offensive line persist (knock on wood) Austin would be Dak’s go to check down option.

Gallup and Hurns appear to be capable deep threats who are already building some serious chemistry with Prescott. When you compare the new crop of receivers to the veterans on this roster, the difference is night and day.

Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and even Noah Brown should have a role in this offense, the main question is can they perform consistently. It is a simple question and after all, zero touchdowns from Williams in 2017 is not a sign of a player trending upward.

Then there is all of the competition at the receiver position, even late round picks like Cedrick Wilson and Brown should push for snaps during training camp. It is almost impossible to predict what three receivers will push for starting roles and at this point, it seems like it is anyone’s job to win.

Hurns gets paid the most so he will have a big role early on but Gallup is more of a question mark. This offseason his chemistry with Prescott has been off of the charts and he could secretly come into the 2018 season as the Dallas Cowboys secret weapon.

Then there is the running attack, Ezekiel Elliott has not had a better assortment of young talent behind him. For the last couple of seasons, it has been veterans like Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden playing the backup role however they physically did not seem as imposing as Elliott.

Bo Scarbrough has all of the tools to become a dangerous option for this team. While it is more unlikely the Cowboys X factor comes from the running back room (especially any player without the last name Elliott) the depth behind Zeke is incredibly important.

When he needs to be spelled during games, defenses cannot key into the Dallas Cowboys passing attack. With Rod Smith and Scarbrough looking to back Elliott up this is one of the most interesting running back units in the NFL.

This brings us to our final two positions, offensive line and tight end. Now the starting tight end Week One has to be Blake Jarwin (sorry Rico Gathers fans, I just don’t see it). Jarwin can block and receive effectively, even with more efficiency than Geoff Swaim.

Dalton Schultz may turn out to be the best blocking tight end on the team but currently, he is still relatively wet behind the ears. Jawin should lead the way in snaps but I expect a bit of a drop off in the number of targets tight ends receive this season.

The offensive line has added a few new pieces into the mix as second-round pick Connor Williams is expected to start at left guard. If this offense is to work, Williams will have to be the real deal as he is expected to get a lot of playing time early on.

If Williams is a winner and can handle the pressures of the NFL the Dallas Cowboys offense will run better than it has since 2016. If not, the team will struggle to protect Prescott and run the football.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Predicting DeMarcus Lawrence sack totals for 2018

In a sense, this season hinges on Williams meshing with the Cowboys offensive line so this offensive unit can make the plays everyone knows they are capable of.