The Dallas Cowboys rookies will have an up-hill battle in their quest to claim roles in 2020
It’s never easy for rookies to make instant impacts on the Dallas Cowboys, but this season just got a heckuva lot tougher for the first year pros. In announcements made last week, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to cancel preseason games, thus eliminating one of the best opportunities unproven players had in order to showcase their skills in a professional setting.
While it’s hard to question the logic behind cancelling meaningless games amidst a pandemic, the consequences are certainly worth discussing. And for a team like the Dallas Cowboys who have a handful of significant spots up for grabs, a short training camp and cancelled preseason could have significant effects on more than a handful of their rookies.
Let’s take a look at a rookies, not just draft picks, who look like they will be impacted by the canceled preseason exhibition games
The Dallas Cowboys top picks in the 2020 draft are fairly safe in their status. CeeDee Lamb is all but guaranteed a starting receiver spot in the top-3. His an elite talent with abnormally refined skills. He doesn’t need to prove himself, rather just needs to develop chemistry with his QB1.
Second round CB Trevon Diggs may not have a starting spot secured, but he’s a lock to make the roster and many assume will be given every opportunity to earn a top-3 role right out of the gate. The day he was drafted some said he immediately became Dallas CB1. Whether that comes to fruition or not remains to be seen but it seems the team is committed to developing him and will give him significant snaps at some point this season (if they don’t just hand him the job right away in Week 1).
Neville Gallimore, Dallas’ third round pick, was always seen as a project and the lack of preseason likely won’t change that. He’s raw and will require grooming meaning the Dallas Cowboys are likely preparing to just use him in spot duty.
Behind those top-3 draft picks, everything changes. Reggie Robinson is a traits player who is making a huge leap. He needs all the experience he can get and his chances of carving out a role in dime defense definitely takes a hit.
Bradlee Anae is another fella who could have used a big stage to prove himself. Anae is a gamer and not having games takes away his best chance at showing better than the main men he’s competing against: Dorance Armstrong Jr. and Joe Jackson
Center Tyler Biadasz probably takes the biggest hit since he is vying for arguably the most vital position of all these rookies, and the Dallas Cowboys have an insurance policy in Joe Looney ready to jump in. Biadasz needs to prove his health, strength, and mental capability in a very short period of time. Chances are the Cowboys will go the safe route and role with the below average Looney as the starter, rather than roll the dice early with the player with the higher ceiling.
Pass-rusher Ron’Dell Carter, LB Francis Bernard , FB Sewo Olonilua, and WR Kendrick Rogers all have much to prove and no time to prove it.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to gamble on potential or else they risk losing out on some promising talent in this 2020 rookie class.