Cowboys training camp is upon us. With a loaded roster and legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, Dallas fans are brimming with excitement.
But before we get to watching the Cowboys show out on gameday, there's still plenty of work left to do to get the best 53-man roster onto the field. There will be all the usual surprise performances and unfortunate cuts (I took a look at the four veterans most likely to get the axe here).
Plenty of players are fighting for their jobs, and these are the biggest positional battles to keep an eye on at Cowboys camp.
3 Biggest Cowboys Training Camp Battles to Watch
Running Back Depth: Malik Davis, Ronald Jones, Deuce Vaughn, Rico Dowdle
The running back room has been taking center stage in Cowboys talk lately, and for good reason. Ezekiel Elliott is gone, leaving Tony Pollard as the RB1 after having never seen 240+ touches in a season (a mark Zeke hit in all seven years with Dallas).
Pollard is also playing on the franchise tag, meaning the rest of the guys in the room may well be competing for a future starting job if they show out well enough this season.
This is a pretty unproven group, which means its truly anybody's role to win in training camp. Ronald Jones has the most high-level NFL experience, but the 2018 second-round pick has largely been written off as a bust at this point. He's shown flashes at times in his career though, and as a between-the-tackles runner who doesn't contribute much in the passing game he would make a natural complement to Pollard's style.
That puts him in direct competition with Malik Davis, who looked pretty good in the limited work he saw as a rookie with the Cowboys last year. Davis recorded carries in six games, and he ultimately ended up being more efficient than Zeke by averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
The rookie Vaughn is obviously the wildcard. A fan-favorite already, Vaughn was absurdly productive in college (4,884 yards from scrimmage with 43 touchdowns and an average of 5.5 yards per carry across three seasons at Kansas State), but his diminutive size makes it hard to project him at the NFL level. Not too many 5-foot-5 179-pound running backs can hold up at the NFL level.
As for Dowdle, he's primarily a special teams contributor and isn't likely to make an impact on the RB depth chart, if he even makes the roster.