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3 depth players Cowboys may have a hard time keeping off the field in 2023

Cowboys backups who could see a significant boost in playtime the season.

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Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys 2023 roster should be as good as just about any of the teams in recent memory. Not only are the majority of their starters locked in, but the depth they have at nearly every position is impressive as well. So much so, the coaching staff may have a difficult time figuring out how to get some of these players on the field enough this year.

Today, we are going to identify a few players who the Dallas Cowboys could have a hard time keeping off the field in 2023. There is reason to believe all of them could see a boost playing time this year.

DE Sam Williams

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Sam Williams quietly had a really impressive rookie season with the Cowboys last year. After playing just 273 defensive snaps (23.80%), he managed to sack the QB four times with 22 QB pressures and one forced fumble. What makes that even more impressive is the fact DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, Dorance Armstrong, and Dante Fowler were all ahead of him on the depth chart and he still managed to shine in limited snaps.

Entering 2023, the depth chart ahead of No. 54 still looks much the same as it did a season ago. However, it’s going to be really difficult for the Cowboys to justify keeping him on the sideline if he makes the second-year jump many are predicting. It’s nearly impossible he overtakes either Lawrence or Parsons for the starting job, but being the primary backup to either wouldn’t at all be surprising. Because of that, his playing time should increase significantly.

DB Israel Mukuamu

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As a depth player, the Cowboys are fortunate to have someone of Israel Mukuamu’s talent and versatility. While he may have struggled to see the field in his first two seasons as a safety, when called upon to be the nickel CB in the postseason last year he proved what he can do when given an opportunity, allowing only a 44.4 percent completion percentage when targeted, 49 total yards yielded, and notching a pass deflection (per PFF).

Despite proving his worth, No. 24 finds himself once again buried on the depth chart in the Cowboys secondary heading into 2023. Whether it’s at safety, outside CB, or in the nickel, Mukuamu’s versatility to play just about any position in the secondary could prove to be invaluable. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the 13.34% he played on defense last year increased significantly this season, even though he’s buried on the depth chart.

WR KaVonte Turpin

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

As both a punt and kick returner, KaVontae Turpin was one of the best, if not the best, in his first year in the league last season in 2022, evidenced by his Pro Bowl selection. Anytime he touched the ball you couldn’t help but hold your breath waiting to see if he would take it to the house. Sadly, nearly all of those touches came on special teams as a return man. Offensively, he only played a total of 62 snaps (5.34%). That could change in 2023 though.

Coming from the USFL last year, Turpin’s offseason with the Cowboys was a shortened one. Now with the year of experience under his belt and a full offseason to prepare, Mike McCarthy and Dallas’ new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have time to find ways to get him more involved offensively. His explosiveness and versatility to play just about anywhere could make him a duel threat weapon this season.

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