Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players who need more snaps this season

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 15: Devin Smith #15 of the Dallas Cowboys catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedExField on September 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 15: Devin Smith #15 of the Dallas Cowboys catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedExField on September 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 04: Golden Tate III #15 of the New York Giants is tackled by Darian Thompson #23 and Luke Gifford #57 of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 04, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Luke Gifford

Linebacker

Age: 24

A guy who wasn’t on a whole lotta people’s radar back in training camp (and even now) is first year linebacker, Luke Gifford. Gifford caught everyone’s attention early in the preseason when he made play after play every time he touched the field.

But an injury early on ended his preseason and forced the Dallas Cowboys front office to make a tough decision early – keep Giford, cut Gifford,  or find a way to stash him. They opted to keep him and now it’s time to see what we have in him.

The Dallas Cowboys are deep in linebacker talent now but that’s likely to change in the offseason. Joe Thomas, a severely underrated coverage ‘backer and Sean Lee could both be gone leaving everything behind Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch unresolved.

Dallas certainly doesn’t need to invest another high pick or major free agent dollars in linebacker, but they do need to know what kind of linebacker they need to fill out the roster with. If Gifford can assume a nickel ‘backer role with ability to fill in at WILL, he could be a major asset in the future and relieve a lot of worry from the front office. But if he’s nothing more than a special teams player and LB4 or LB5, Dallas will need to start looking for young talent to develop.

Answering Questions

It’s all about answering questions for the offseason. If players like Gifford and Smith look like top-3 players on the depth chart, Dallas can focus their attention elsewhere in free agency and in the top 2/3 of the draft.

If Dalton Shultz looks like he can be a TE2 or TE3, Dallas may only need to bring in one TE prospect to compete with Jarwin next summer. The same goes for Wilson at WR. If he looks like a good backup Z and starting slot, Dallas can wait until late in the draft to address the WR position.

If Trysten Hill looks like he may fulfill some of that potential the Cowboys sold us on when they drafted him, Dallas may be able to get by with a mid-level veteran free agent to help solidify the 3-tech rotation. If he looks like a bum they probably need to use one of their first couple picks.

Next. If Dallas wants to win the division next season they better lose it this season. dark

While the Dallas Cowboys are still in position to take the division, they need to do their due diligence in player evaluation because next season has far too many roster questions as we stand today.