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5 Cowboys players who could have a breakout season in 2023

We go through the Cowboys roster to predict five players that may break out in 2023.

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Every year all NFL teams have players who exceed preseason expectations and become significant contributors. The Dallas Cowboys had a couple of players do so last season. Safety Donovan Wilson, defensive end Dorance Armstrong, and cornerback DaRon Bland were three players who greatly outperformed what was expected of them before the season.

For the Cowboys to make the playoffs for the third-consecutive season, they’ll need that trend to continue and have players step up and outperform expectations.

Today five of our staff writers make their pick of which Cowboys player they believe will have a breakout season in 2023. Let us know who your breakout player is in the comments section below!

David Howman

My pick for the Cowboys breakout player of the year is recently signed kicker Brandon Aubrey. Dallas needed a kicker (sorry, Tristan Vizcaino) and they were comfortable waiting for Aubrey, who has a fascinating story. The Plano, Texas native played soccer professionally before joining the USFL, where he’s kicked for the Birmingham Stallions the last two years.

Aubrey clearly impressed the Cowboys, and he’s still growing his game as a football kicker, which gives him exciting upside. I think he’ll not only become one of the more reliable field goal kickers in the NFL this year, but he’ll also be able to use his soccer background to help John Fassel pull off some shocking trick plays on special teams.

Mike Poland

There are a few players this year that have huge potential to breakout, both on offense and defense. Recently I got to interview defensive end Sam Williams and he was super focused and driven to be a major part of the team’s success. Just looking at his stats last year, even with the limited amount he was used, he still finished sixth in pressures, sixth in sacks and even recorded a forced fumble. All the guys with more had double the amount of snaps so you can only imagine the production he could have when given more opportunity. Another factor was that he said when he had his son it was a huge attitude changer for him, and with a second child on the way, his drive to succeed has only gotten bigger. Big season for Big Sam.

Tom Ryle

I’m going to pick Jalen Tolbert for my breakout player. I just think he has the talent to become the WR4, and will push Michael Gallup at times. That may be a bit of a low bar, but given how poor his rookie season was, I think he is going to become a better version of Cedrick Wilson in the offense and redeem his draft position. Some of this depends on how Mike McCarthy uses him, but I think we will see a lot of four WR sets this year, and Tolbert will get his share of targets and receptions. With weapons like CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks drawing the attention of defenses, that is going to open up opportunities on the field. And the inevitable wear and tear is probably going to afford him some starting chances as the year goes along. He won’t be a high volume receiver, but he will have a game or two where he really shines.

Brian Martin

Sam Williams is probably the logical choice to be a breakout player in 2023 for the Dallas Cowboys, but I think I’ll go a different direction and go with Mazi Smith instead. The Cowboys selected him 26th overall in the first round this year for a reason. He is a big, athletic defensive tackle who should make an immediate impact from Day 1 as a rookie, both as a run defender and pass rusher. He is a perfect fit in Dan Quinn’s system and should help Dallas’ defensive front be even more formidable in the trenches this season.

Matt Holleran

My breakout player for the 2023 Dallas Cowboys is Osa Odighizuwa. The 24-year-old is entering his third season in the league and it’s going to be his best. Last year, Odighizuwa increased his total tackles, tackles for loss, and sack total from his rookie year. This season, he’ll do the same and continue his upward progression.

The addition of Mazi Smith will help Odighizuwa immensely, and the two will be one of the better young defensive tackle duos in the league this upcoming year. Odighizuwa has shown flashes during his two-year tenure in Dallas, but this year he puts it all together and has by far his best season yet.

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