Way-too-early Cowboys 53-man roster projection: Fierce battles will determine Dallas’ new defense - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
It’s never too early to take a stab at predicting the 53-man roster.
Quarterback (2). Dak Prescott, Garrett Gilbert. Although I think it’s likely the Cowboys add another veteran to the mix, among the non-Prescott QBs on the roster, I trust Garrett Gilbert the most. He performed adequately well in his spot start last year, which is more than you can say for Ben DiNucci or Cooper Rush in recent years.
Running back (3) Ezekiel Elliott, RB Tony Pollard, RB Rico Dowdle, RB. Running back is pretty straightforward, with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard as the 1-2 punch and Rico Dowdle as the special teamer and emergency backup. Dowdle is considerably more talented than any of the RBs currently behind him on the depth chart. However, don’t be surprised if UDFA Nick Ralston sneaks in as the team’s fullback and potentially No. 3 TE due to his position versatility (played RB, FB and TE in college) and special teams capabilities.
ICYMI:2021 Dallas Cowboys schedule: Dallas opens in Tampa, hosts Vegas on Thanksgiving, see all game times - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
The 2021 schedule is finally here.
At long last the 2021 Dallas Cowboys schedule is here. We have known all day long that the Cowboys will be opening their season on the road against the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but what about the other 16 games?
Feast your eyes on the 2021 Dallas Cowboys schedule, what is clearly a Super Bowl campaign in the works.
The questions isn’t what role will Micah Parsons play for the Cowboys, but how many - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
If the Cowboys are going to get the most out of linebacker Micah Parsons, he’ll have to play a variety of different roles.
Club officials describe Parsons as a multi-positional talent. Mike McCarthy rattled off his attributes after the franchise used the No. 12 pick on the linebacker: Parsons can play all three linebacker positions. He has natural pass rush skills from the inside and outside position. He has the traits to be used as the designated pass rusher and is good in coverage. The Cowboys head coach went on to say the multiple ways the defense can use Parsons will help the unit disguise their defensive intent.
“Micah is a dynamic player,’’ McCarthy said. Dan Quinn loves the rookie’s speed and physicality. The Cowboys new defensive coordinator was asked how Parsons compares to Bruce Irvin and Vic Beasley, players he coached in previous stops in Seattle and Atlanta.
“For those who have kids, it’s like comparing which kid do you like to talk about more,’’ Quinn said. “It’s a real disservice at times to the young player. “I want Micah’s identity to be Micah. I don’t want to say he’s like a Bobby or a Vic or this. I just want him to be the best version of him.’’
Let’s hope this space-eating defensive tackle turns out better than Dontari Poe did last season.
For the second straight offseason, a space-eating tackle has joined the defensive line's interior. Dontari Poe was signed last year for that position, though the Cowboys released him at midseason amid the defense's struggles against the run. This year, Bohanna will have a chance to earn that spot. It's not a given. There's a defensive tackle logjam even after former starter Antwaun Woods' release last week. Trysten Hill, Neville Gallimore, third-round pick Osa Odighizuwa and free agent pickups Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins will all compete for spots.
But Bohanna does add a unique presence to the room. No player on the current defensive line comes close to his listed 330-pound playing weight. Veteran Justin Hamilton ranks second at 315. Bohanna knows exactly how he can carve out a career at the next level.
"Just to come in and be the one technique, the zero technique and the nose tackle that they needed. And that I'm a great fit for the scheme that they want to run," he said.
Which free agent on this list would you like to see Dallas sign?
The Cowboys secondary has undergone plenty of changes this offseason already, but they could improve it further by adding Bobby McCain. With Xavier Woods leaving in free agency, the team's free safety spot is a question mark. It looks as though Dallas will convert sixth-round pick Israel Mukuamu to safety while Damontae Kazee was signed in March, but neither brings the experience or leadership of McCain.
Kazee posted seven interceptions in 2018 but is coming off a torn Achilles and only played four games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. There's a ton of upside there, but his full recovery from the injury is a tenuous thing to bet on. McCain was a team captain in Miami and is coming off his best season by Pro Football Reference's approximate value metric. Opposing passers were held to a 64.3 passer rating when targeting him, and he had decent ball production with an interception and five passes defended.
The 27-year-old's presence would give Dallas more confidence in its rebuilt secondary and bring the leadership it may need with plenty of young players on the roster.
Is Kelvin Joseph a Day One Starter at Cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys? - John Williams, Inside The Star
The second-round pick has a good shot at starting from day one.
Kelvin Joseph played in 15 college games, six as a freshman in 2018, before playing in nine with Kentucky in 2020. In that 2020 season, Joseph had four interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown and a pass deflection. Per Pro Football Focus, his best games last year were against Tennessee, where he had the pick-6, against Alabama, where Joseph locked down Devonta Smith, and against Mississippi State. He received coverage grades of 76 or above in these three games, with a high of 91.6 against Tennessee.
Though he’s still a bit raw as a player, he has all the tools in the box for Al Harris to work with to develop his game at the NFL level. His length, burst, and instincts combined with confidence make him a player with the upside to be a true lockdown corner. He’ll need to refine some of the processing aspects of his game, so he doesn’t fall for double moves put on by the elite route runners of the NFL. Because the options at corner aren’t great, the Cowboys need to throw caution to the wind and let Joseph learn on the job. There will be some growing pains, but Joseph should get more comfortable and learn from any early-season struggles he might experience as the season progresses
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