Mailbag: Does This Team Have Better Depth On Its Roster? - DC.com
Both Rowan Kavner and David Helman argue that while the Cowboys have better depth this year, they also have more questions at the starter spots - at least on defense. Here's Kavner's take:
I think the wide belief is that the starters on this roster have more questions than in years past, particularly on defense, while the backups should be more capable than in years past. We’ve heard all offseason about the waves of players on the defensive line. I agree that there will be more depth than in past years throughout the roster – the question will be whether the starters can step up.
NFL PE Blog: Life In The Pros - Zack Martin
Martin blogs from the NFL Rookie symposium and reflects on some of the things he's heard at the symposium, including vets sharing their stories, the need to have a plan for life after football, what it means to be a professional, and how lucky he personally was to land in Dallas:
I've been very lucky going to a spot where I play on an offensive line that is very close. They've been great with me so far. Also, center Travis Frederick, who was the first-round pick last year and has gone through everything I'm going through now, has been a great help also.
Position Battles: Swing Tackle Not As Set As Starters - Bryan Broaddus, DC.com
Broaddus writes that both Smith and Free are unquestioned at their spots, but that a training camp battle is looming for the active swing tackle each week, and he thinks Darrion Weems is currently leading that battle over Jermey Parnell:
Weems is physically stronger and better prepared technique-wise to put himself in position. Both of these players have lined up at one point in time during their careers on the left and right sides. During the OTAs and minicamps, Weems was playing as the left tackle while Parnell was on the right side with the second offense.
Broaddus doesn't go there, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys traded either Weems or Parnell after camp.
Projected Cowboys starting offensive lineup | Jon Machota, FOX Sports
Machota writes eleven separate names on eleven separate slides. I did the clicking for you and found the eleven unsurprising names:
Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar
Tyron Smith, Ron Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Doug Free.
Prrojected defensive starters for Week 1 of Cowboys 2014 season | Jon Machota, DMN
It gets slightly more interesting on the defensive side, though why this has to be another screenshow is unclear.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Terrell Mcclain, Henry Melton, Tyrone Crawford
Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Kyle Wilber
Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick
Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox
NFL owners can't have it both ways - Dan Graziano, ESPN Dallas
Our favorite former NFC-East blogger writes that the NFL owners either acted in collusion, or the Cowboys and Redskins did nothing wrong in the uncapped season, as he reviews the recent court ruling in favor of the NFLPA.
Nobody looks good here. The Cowboys and Redskins were trying to get over on their fellow owners, who were trying to get over on the union, which then later agreed to the sanctions against the Cowboys and Redskins in exchange for a higher salary cap than the owners were initially offering in 2012. Ugly all around.
But after the owners got what they wanted out of the whole arrangement, they acted out of arrogance in publicly punishing Jones and Snyder. And Giants owner John Mara, who chaired the committee in charge of imposing the penalties, made a regrettable PR decision when he angrily proclaimed that the Cowboys and Redskins were "lucky they didn't lose draft picks" over the whole thing. If the punishment for that arrogance is more inconvenience and embarrassment than the NFL's owners are accustomed to, then I say it's well-deserved.
Which NFL teams have the best offensive lines? - SBNation.com
The Cowboys come in under the "Damn Good" heading in this ranking, but are ranked behind the "Elite" lines of Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, New England and Bengals.
Tyron Smith is one of the best young tackles in the game - a devastating run blocker with consistency in pass protection - and has entrenched himself on the left side after playing on the right early in his career. He's bookended by the venerable Doug Free, who is still playing at a high level at right tackle for the Cowboys, and doesn't leave much room for improvement in pass protection as well. Center Travis Frederick will look to build on a promising rookie season after becoming the Cowboys' surprising first round pick in 2012, and Dallas will throw rookie Zack Martin, one of my favorite linemen in this year's Draft, in at right guard, to start. Martin's a plug-and-play lineman at a number of spots, but should have no issue acclimating to the right interior spot after playing at left tackle his senior season at Notre Dame. A solid four out of five clear-cut starters on an offensive line ain't bad, and Ronald Leary will battle Mackenzy Bernadeau for the honors at left guard.