Since the Dallas Cowboys have started training camp yesterday, I figured we would take a quick look at the positions.
QB: No camp battles here, Romo is one of the best, Orton is a solid quarterback who could be starting on half the teams in the NFL, everyone else is just a body, right now, but maybe something will stick out in camp.
RB: Murray is a stud, expect great things from him this year, backups are fighting for their spot, so expect them to either hang up their cleats or come out with some impressive displays.
TE: Witten is a sure thing, behind him is Escobar who looks like a TE but runs and catches like a WR, behind him Hanna is a clone, but smaller and less talented. Rosario adds a blocking TE to the mix.
WR: Bryant is everything you want from a franchise WR except mature, and that is improving, Austin needs to bounce back from his sub-standard performances, the 3rd WR is officially open but expect Terrence Williams to win, the fourth and possibly fifth slots will have to not only catch but show something on special teams to stick.
OL: Coming off last years frightening performance, this unit is looking to improve, drafting Fredrick was a good move, but without any other major pickups it looks like the big boys are going to have to dig deep and live up to expectations. Smith has been a solid LT, but the rest of the line is up for grabs, expect Fredrick to win a starting job at Center or some say Guard, I think that depends on how well everyone else does. Costa is reportedly looking good, so, maybe this line will be dominant or at least not dominated.
OFFENSE: While last years offense looked good at times, the line was weak, the run game anemic, and overall inconsistent. This year, expect the passing game to hum along nicely, with a vastly improved running game, and more balance then you have seen in the big D in years.
DL: With Spencer and Ware at ends, the line is going to be good, how good depends on if the DT Ratliff can overcome injuries and distractions to dominate or if some of the quality guys at DT can come in and take pressure off the ends and push the pocket enough to help out.
LB: This is one of the best crews the Cowboys have fielded in a long time, expect these studs in on a ton of plays, Carter and Lee are fast, smart, and good tacklers, Durant wins the other OLB spot will have a significantly easier time of it, making this easily the best unit on the Cowboys, especially with Sims as the prime backup.
CB: Carr, Claiborne, and Scandrick give the Cowboys one of the best CB threesomes in the league all are young and heading into their prime, expect great things from these guys. There are some interesting prospects to give a gander too, as well, Webb and Moore spring to mind.
S: Rumor has it that Church has all but tied up one side, while Allen has the lead over Wilcox, McCray and the rest battle for the other side, but this unit is about as up in the air as it can be, that being said, I do expect big things from these guys, all of them are quality players in need of some seasoning.
DEFENSE: While a few questions do remain, expect a vast improvement in the Cowboys D, especially sacks and turnovers.
Kicker/Punter: Bailey and Jones are pretty secure in their jobs and both have done a good job. Unless a camp body blows the coaching staff away, don’t expect a change.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Expect solid if not spectacular performances from the Special Teams. L.P. Ladouceur is as steady as they come for long snappers.
Opponents: RG3 makes the Redskins a threat all of the time, the Giants have institutionalized good solid play, and Eli is no slouch, while everyone realizes that Vick isn’t that great, he can still take over a game, occasionally, making the Eagles a bigger threat then they appear on paper.
OVERALL: With some new coaches in the mix, a few new guys, and the maturing of some of the younger guys, things are looking up in Dallas, if I was to make an extremely early prediction, I would say 10-6, and a wild card berth.
Now I’m no football expert, but these are my thoughts on the Cowboys, very early this year.