3 under-the-radar players to keep an eye on in Cowboys training camp - Sayre Bedinger, The Landry Hat
A few names that fans might not be talking about enough.
1. Simi Fehoko, wide receiver
Anytime you can find guys in the late rounds of the NFL Draft who post elite athletic metrics, you have to think you can at least count on them to produce on special teams. Unfortunately, over two seasons, former 5th-round pick Simi Fehoko hasn’t been able to carve out any sort of role, so this sort of becomes a make-or-break year for him.
With just 134 snaps in 10 games over two seasons, Fehoko’s tremendous size and speed profile hasn’t been on the field much at all. But the athleticism remains intriguing and the opportunity is still there for something to materialize.
Simi Fehoko was drafted with pick 179 of round 5 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.17 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 209 out of 2517 WR from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/I2E5IyL4bI #RAS #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/RRhJpuGfv6
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021
There’s only so long you can really rely on a guy’s potential, but there will be a battle in training camp between Fehoko and second-year receiver Jalen Tolbert for a pretty regular spot in the Cowboys’ wide receiver rotation.
How Stephon Gilmore Trade Could ‘Shape’ Cowboys Season - Connor Zimmerlee and Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated
The Cowboys’ spending might soon pay dividends.
Gilmore enters this season four years removed from that Defensive Player of the Year season in 2019, when he anchored the New England Patriots secondary. That season saw him record 53 tackles as well as six interceptions, two which were returned for a touchdown.
While the veteran cornerback may not be the same player he was in 2019, he still can be a productive addition for the Cowboys. He is coming off a strong season with the Colts in 2022, snagging two interceptions and 11 passes defended while recording a career-high 66 tackles.
Pair Gilmore with Diggs, who recorded a combined 14 interceptions, 35 passes defended 111 tackles in the last two seasons, and the Cowboys have a cornerback duo that has an argument for the best in the NFL.
Even if Gilmore isn’t a DPOY-caliber player anymore, his acquisition should pay dividends for the Cowboys - and could be the piece that pushes them over the hump in their hunt for a Super Bowl win.
Ferguson vs Odighizuwa: Which young talent’s ceiling would best serve Cowboys? - Mike Crum, Cowboys Wire
Two young, developing pieces could both provide immense value if they reach their potential.
The Cowboys defense under Dan Quinn has been the strength of the team, and it expanded that differential from the 2021 season to the 2022 one. No matter who gets injured, Quinn figures out a way to move pieces around to not only keep them competitive, but mostly dominant week in and week out.
Elite edge rush, terrific play from his three-headed safety group, and turnovers have led the way, but one thing the defensive coordinator has yet to have is a great defensive tackle. If Odighizuwa can take a jump like he did from his rookie to sophomore season, then he could become a game changer with the help he has around him.
Why would that be more impactful than a top tier TE? It’s simple, just look at all the teams that have had one of those big play defensive tackles and how much success their teams have. Getting impact at that position is the thing that causes issues to offenses the most.
Odighizuwa has averaged three sacks, seven tackles for a loss, and 12.5 pressures in his first two seasons without a single forced fumble. Now imagine this defense, with all their playmakers in the secondary, and incredible depth at the edge rush position, if they had a top tier interior pass rusher.
Will 2023 be the year Lawrence finally gets his flowers?
Even averaging just around 6.0 sacks a season, the presence of Lawrence allows Micah Parsons to get some better matchups.
I still label Lawrence as an elite pass rusher, and having one on each side is always a good thing.
I am running out of words to say how good Demarcus Lawrence is. pic.twitter.com/d9yRjkiRrY
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 20, 2021
The one thing I worry about is his health, he has been beaten up the last few years.
His veteran leadership is a key for Dallas, and something he does better than most think is stopping the run.
It might even worth a try to move DLaw inside a few times this season and see how they fair.
Fowler had the same amount of sacks as Lawrence did a year ago.
Williams has a chance to be a breakout star for this team.
The Cowboys defense has the chance to be the best in football.
I love how vocal he is about his confidence in this team.
He knows what the Eagles just did a season ago, but doesn’t think the gap is that big.
“I don’t feel like it’s a huge gap at all,” Lawrence told the Associated Press. “I feel like it comes down to certain details. Not just the scheme but also your locker room.”
An MVP win from Prescott would make for some fascinating headlines and narratives.
1. An Upgraded Passing Attack
Any MVP quarterback needs weapons to throw to, and Dallas made sure to surround Prescott with more talent this offseason. The Cowboys’ first significant addition to their receiving corps was trading for veteran Brandin Cooks. The 29-year-old has been a bastion of consistently great production, posting at least 1,000 yards in six of his last eight seasons.
He suddenly gives this offense one of the best No. 2 wideouts in the entire league, and forms a scary trio with star CeeDee Lamb and WR3 Michael Gallup, the latter of whom should be even better after coming back from his ACL tear in 2022. Dallas didn’t stop there though, as the team also nabbed pass-catching tight end Luke Schoonmaker in the second round of this year’s draft. Investing this premium capital into the Michigan product displays strong confidence in his ability to help the Cowboys.
With 2022 draft pick Jalen Tolbert as well, Prescott will have no shortage of weapons to turn to in 2023. The amount of playmakers he’ll have at his disposal is why I’m buying into Prescott’s MVP potential.
The season inches closer.
We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 49.
Born: 23rd September 1999 (23) - Logansport, Louisiana
College: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Draft: 2023, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys
— John Stephens Jr ™ (@Johnjr_9) January 30, 2023
John Stephens Jr. was a three-star recruit when he signed with TCU. He played in eight games off the bench during his freshman year and caught two passes for 58 yards. In 2019, Stephens got more snaps while playing in 12 games for the Horned Frogs.
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