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Cowboys news: Training camp competition will be on full display in 2022

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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Problem Spots: Deciding On A Swing Tackle - Rob Phillips,

Swing tackle is a position that will have a serious competition.

What’s The Issue: At the moment, the swing tackle job behind left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle Terence Steele seems wide open. Steele was the choice to fill in for Smith for six games last season, but now he’s become the projected right tackle starter since La’el Collins signed with the Bengals in March. Eight-year veteran Ty Nsekhe, who competed for the swing tackle spot last year, has not been re-signed. The Cowboys hope it’s not a position that gets extensive snaps, but Smith’s injury history shows that’s a possibility. The eight-time Pro Bowler was terrific in 11 starts last year but hasn’t played a full season since 2015.

Who Can Fix It: The Cowboys have drafted three offensive tackles in the past two years: 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith and fourth-rounder Matt Waletzko, plus Josh Ball in the fourth round last year. The Cowboys say Smith will begin his career as a “left side player,” taking reps at guard and tackle, but he could emerge as the left guard starter in Year One. Ball, who did not play his rookie season because of an ankle injury, will begin working at right tackle. The Cowboys think Waletzko has the skills to play either side, but he could need some developmental time coming from North Dakota. Isaac Alarcon and Aviante Collins spent time on the practice squad last year and will compete again for a roster spot.

Can Indiana’s Ty Fryfogle overcome the Cowboys numbers at WR? - Tyler Browning, Cowboys Wire

Could UDFA WR Ty Fryfogle have a shot at the final WR roster spot?

The Dallas Cowboys have signed at least one undrafted free agent at the wide receiver for the last several years, including four of them last offseason. This year they matched their high and signed another four, including Indiana’s Ty Fryfogle.

Fryfogle was a two-sport athlete coming out of high school, lettering in both football and basketball. He enrolled in Indiana in 2017 and saw the field almost immediately playing in 18 games his freshman year. His career took off in 2020 as he became the first Indiana receiver to win All-American honors since 2007. He took home Big-10 receiver of the year honors as well as being one of the 11 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award. His 2021 season didn’t match the rising expectations though, so what kind of player did Dallas give a chance?

What Should we Expect from Key Players next Season? - Shane Taylor, Inside the Star

What can we expect from these key contributors in 2022?

Dak Prescott

Prescott broke the single-season touchdown record last year with 37. I don’t think he throws that many again, but I think he will have another productive year.

My end-of-the-season predictions for Prescott are 3,990 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

He will make the Pro Bowl.

CeeDee Lamb

Amari Cooper is gone, so I believe Lamb and his numbers will skyrocket. Lamb will make an All-Pro Team and the Pro Bowl.

My end-of-the-season predictions for Lamb are 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns.

One other roster note:

NFL analyst backs up Dak Prescott, Cowboys with promising insight - Mauricio Rodriguez, A to Z Dallas

Dak will be back in 2022 if these things improve.

In her analysis, Frelund pointed out Dak Prescott’s performance as the driving force behind her bullish stance on the Cowboys’ offense.

“Dak Prescott averaged a career-low 2.75 seconds to throw and tossed quick passes at his highest rate in the past three seasons (42.1%). The quick throws (under 2.5 seconds) did work to help him escape pressure — as evidenced by his career-low 28.9 pressure rate — and drove a career-high 107.7 passer rating on short passes (fourth in the NFL). He also ran away from would-be pressure and earned a 116.8 passer rating when on the move (best in NFL among qualified QBs).”

Frelund also pointed out her models are bullish on Dallas’ offensive line. Even with big questions on both sides of the unit, All-Pros Tyron Smith and Zack Martin are still a part of it.

This could lead to more chances for Dak Prescott to do one of the things he goes best. Going deep.

“When Dak does have time, great things happen (SEE: his career-high 110.0 passer rating throwing outside the numbers in 2021, the fourth-best mark in the NFL).”

All of this brings to the table what perhaps is the biggest story for the Cowboys’ offense in 2022. Will quarterback play outweigh losing Cooper and Collins in the offseason? Clearly, those departures don’t make the roster better. Thinking so would be nothing but an optimistic illusion.

PFF’s 2022 edge rusher rankings and tiers: Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence receive high praise - Brian Martin, Blogging the Boys

Parsons and Lawrence will still be a top pass rush duo if healthy.

Pro Football Focus just dropped of their 2022 edge rusher rankings and tiers, and not so surprisingly, both Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence made the cut. While they weren’t ranked very close together, PFF did speak pretty highly on each player’s behalf, which in itself, is encouraging for what could be the Cowboys best pass rushing tandem this season.

So, where did Parsons and Lawrence end up in PFF’s 2022 edge rushing rankings and tiers? And, do you agree with where they were finally slotted?

Here’s what PFF had to say about Micah Parsons:

Micah Parsons was a real Defensive Player of the Year candidate last season as a rookie thanks in large part to his pass-rushing prowess. Ostensibly still an off-ball linebacker, Parsons generated the best pressure rate of any pass-rusher in the league (22.4%) and was doing so as a true edge rusher, rather than simply taking advantage of favorable matchups against running backs. Parsons may not play as much as an edge rusher, but he’s already shown he’s an elite one if he does line up there.

Here’s what PFF had to say about DeMarcus Lawrence:

Demarcus Lawrence is underrated because of low sack totals in his past three seasons, but his pressure rates, run defense prowess and PFF grades have remained elite. Sometimes sacks come with those data points, and other times they don’t. Lawrence is still an elite playmaker when healthy.

Every NFL Team’s Most Exciting 2022 Undrafted Free-Agent Addition - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

The Cowboys did a fantastic job with their 2022 UDFA class.

Dallas Cowboys: CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart

Players whose physical traits are more impressive than their on-field performances are often described as height/weight/speed prospects. USC cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart fits that mold.

While the descriptor can be viewed as a negative, the accompaniment of natural upside can’t be overlooked. The Jacksonville Jaguars just spent the No. 1 overall pick on a developmental prospect in Travon Walker who has outstanding physical prowess.

Expectations are far different for an undrafted free agent. Still, the same premise applies to Taylor-Stuart on a much lower level.

Taylor-Stuart has everything a team should want in a corner from a pure traits perspective. He’s a 6’1½”, 201-pound defensive back with 31½-inch arms and a 6’5¼” wingspan. He also has legitimate track speed as a top-10 400-meter sprinter among this year’s draft class, according to Tracking Football.

Inconsistency with his coverage and physicality caused Taylor-Stuart not to get drafted, but he has the raw material for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make him into a solid professional.

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