One of the points of emphasis in every offseason is to try and create as much competition as you possibly can. The Cowboys made huge changes this offseason at a couple of positions. They also have a lot of youth all across the roster. When you look for potential on this roster, a few names really jump out as guys with tremendous opportunities.
Blake Jarwin, TE, 6’5, 240 lbs
Obviously there is going to be opportunities that can be had at tight end with the retirement of Jason Witten. Jarwin has been a guy the coaches are very high on and they even signed him off their practice squad last season to protect their rights to him. As everyone looks around at Geoff Swaim, Rico Gathers, and Dalton Schultz, Jarwin might be the guy that offers the most in terms of a receiving option for Dak Prescott.
Jarwin is a really great target down the seam of the field and he has the toughness to make the catch even with a safety baring down upon him. One other area that Jarwin excels at is his quickness to get up field which is great for tight end screens. Jarwin has improved his blocking abilities inline which doesn’t make him a liability in the run game. If Jarwin can make the most of OTA’s and training camp, a starting role is there for the taking.
Noah Brown, WR. 6’2, 222 lbs
If there’s a receiver on the roster that fits the “X” role in a similar sense that Dez Bryant did, it’s Noah Brown. He’s not nearly as polished or experienced as Bryant was coming out of college but Brown does have the traits and physical makeup for the position. He doesn’t have outstanding straight-line speed but he’s very sudden in his stop-start motions. Brown does a really nice job with timing and has excellent ball skills. Brown’s very strong in his footwork and can be deceptively efficient without top-end speed. Watch his side-step here to fool the safety:
Football Friday: Dallas Cowboys receiver Noah Brown @Nb_Eight5 with the 3 step slant reception and side step move on the one high safety. #spreadoffense #NFL #Jersey pic.twitter.com/ItbuC1SkZv— SpreadOffense.com (@SpreadOffense) May 11, 2018
Coming out of college, he was one of the least experienced receivers to declare with only 33 receptions. He does possess playmaking potential for his abilities as a physical downfield receiver. Brown’s been working practically every day of this offseason along with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. The potential for him to become a trustworthy option is very high because he does have great hands. It only helps his case that he’s one of the best run-blocking receivers on the roster.
Marquez White, CB, 6’0, 194 lbs
White spent the last season on the practice squad but will get a chance to show off his press man skills in front of new secondary coach, Kris Richard. The Cowboys didn’t draft any defensive backs this season after spending four picks in the secondary last season. White started two seasons at Florida State and held his own at DBU, giving up a completion percentage of 32.1. White has the length that Richard is looking for at cornerback. Though the top three spots may be locked down, White will get a shot to make the 53 as the fourth or fifth cornerback. Anthony Brown isn’t guaranteed to make the roster if he can’t improve on his struggles from last season.
White has good instincts with smooth hips in his backpedal. He has some fundamental work to put in but has already spent a year in the NFL and now has one of the very best teachers in the game. White has all the tools to become Richard’s next late-round success story at cornerback.
Brian Price, DT, 6’3, 318 lbs
We’re making Price a second-year player because he spent all of 2016 on the practice squad for the Packers. Price was a player that the Cowboys had been high on and once he was cut in 2017’s final cut, the Cowboys put in a claim for him. The Cowboys have an opening at 1-tech as Maliek Collins will spend the majority of the offseason program mending a broken foot. They tried to go after a veteran but were spurned in the end. This Cowboys staff really likes Price and what they saw in limited action before he was hurt.
He’s got some athleticism to him and isn’t just a space-eater, but he’s also one of the only guys on the roster at his size. If Price can stay healthy, the opportunity is there for him to make a push for playing time. They liked him enough to extend him in the offseason and was a darn good run defender, making eight tackles before heading to IR last season. Price brings a lot of power to the defensive line but his agility is quite impressive for a guy that is almost 320 pounds.