Whether you choose to believe it or not, fortune seems to be shining on the Dallas Cowboys entering the 2022 season. With the exception of a few missing faces, Dallas will have nearly all of their starters returning from a team that reached the playoffs just a year ago. Not many teams around the league can claim the same, making the Cowboys one of the fortunate ones.
While figuring out who will start where is one of the main objectives in training camp each year, the Cowboys are lucky in that they only have a few starting jobs up for grabs. As luck would have it, even those few starting jobs that are up for grabs could already have players penciled in which should make the coaching staff’s job that much easier. That should allow them to shift their focus a little on other areas of concern.
One of the under the radar areas of concern for the Dallas Cowboys entering training camp in Oxnard, California is the depth, or lack there of, at several positions. As we all know, having adequate depth behind the starters can be the difference between a win and loss. So, how they go about addressing this issue could end up determining their success or failure in 2022.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the positions the Cowboys may need to pay closer attention to as far as depth is concerned once training practices get underway.
In Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, and Terence Steele, the Dallas Cowboys look to have their starting five all but set for the upcoming 2022 season. Who the backups are behind them at each position isn’t as clear though. Connor McGovern looks to be the primary backup at both right and left guard, but who earns that job at both tackle positions and center is completely up in the air right now.
Until Michael Gallup returns to the starting lineup, CeeDee Lamb is the only unquestioned starter for the Dallas Cowboys at wide receiver in 2022. Someone needs to step up to replace Amari Cooper’s lost production and that could come from players currently on the roster or from a veteran addition. Because of that, this will no doubt be a position to keep a close watchful eye on throughout training camp and preseason.
Dalton Schultz’s long-term future with the Cowboys may be in doubt, but his starting job with them isn’t. He will once again play a vital role in Dallas’ offense, quite possibly even more so than he has at any point in his career. But, what’s going on behind him on the depth chart and how it works itself out is anyone’s guess. Schultz’ primary backup could currently be on the roster or it could come in the form of an outside free agent.
Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch are the Cowboys projected starters at linebacker for the 2022 season. Parsons is no doubt a superstar in the making, but LVE’s injury history is a pretty big concern. To further complicate matters, the depth behind both of them, or lack thereof, is void of anyone with any kind of starting experience. There is some encouraging youth who could step up, but an experienced veteran could ease all concerns.
The Cowboys have a former first-round pick with a concerning injury history in Malik Hooker and basically a one-year wonder in Jayron Kearse projected to start for them at safety this year. Behind them on the depth chart includes two former late-round picks and a couple of undrafted free agents. We all know this is a position Dallas doesn’t place high value on, however, they could be in trouble if they don’t improve the depth here.