3 Position Battles to Watch in Cowboys Training Camp
By Scott Rogust
As is tradition, NFL analysts and experts gush over the Dallas Cowboys. That's a given, considering owner Jerry Jones sells them as a brand, not a professional sports team. But 2020 is different, because the Cowboys made significant signings and draft selections this offseason that make them look like a powerhouse, on paper. With so much talent on one team, there are going to be tense battles for a spot on the 53-man roster this summer.
Here are three position battles to keep an eye on in training camp.
The Cowboys were dealt a bad hand this offseason, as five-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick retired after seven years in the NFL. Dallas had a bit of a contingency plan in the form of Joe Looney, whom they re-signed at the start of the league year. However, the Cowboys wisely traded up in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft for Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. The former Badger's draft stock dropped due to a back injury, but when healthy, he's considered as one of the better centers in the entire class. Looney will earn the starter's snaps this summer in training camp, but if the rookie impresses, don't be surprised to see head coach Mike McCarthy give him the job prior to Week 1.
2. Defensive End
Last season, the Cowboys finally found a quality pass rusher to pair alongside DeMarcus Lawrence in Robert Quinn. Yet, Quinn cashed in on a massive contract with the Chicago Bears this offseason. Now, the Cowboys are back to square one trying to find a starting edge rusher to pair with D-Law. Veteran Tyrone Crawford is projected to be the starter early on, but he could easily find himself on the bench. The team drafted Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae in the fifth round and signed former San Francisco 49ers stud Aldon Smith to a one-year deal. Given the Cowboys' desire to contend for the Super Bowl this upcoming season, they simply have to put the best edge rusher not named Lawrence into the starting lineup. Tenure isn't going to help Crawford if he disappoints in training camp.
Dallas has a cornerback problem, and no, we don't mean they don't have any. Rather, they have too many. When looking at the Cowboys' depth chart, the 'Boys have 11 cornerbacks! Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown are the presumptive starting outside corners, with Jourdan Lewis playing in nickel formation. Yet, the team signed Daryl Worley and Maurice Canady in free agency, and drafted Alabama's Trevon Diggs and Tulsa's Reggie Robinson. There are only so many starting corner jobs to go around come training camp, and none of the defensive backs should take it lightly. Don't forget that six of those Dallas corners are set to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Make no mistake about it, the cornerback battle this summer is going to be contentious.