The question on everyone’s mind as the team arrives in Oxnard.
Mickey Spagnola: First of all, don’t lose to the 49ers in the playoffs. Secondly, win the NFC East with a record to receive a first-round playoff bye and earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, unlike last year, finishing second in the East and as a wildcard playoff team having to play those first two playoff games on the road. And then, from a playing standpoint, the offense during the regular season must be as good if not better than last year’s when averaging 35.1 points a game in the first 10 Dak played after returning from injury or the 31.0 the Cowboys averaged in the 13 games, including the two playoff games, they averaged after his return. After that, the defense must play better against the run and the Cowboys must develop a capable place kicker.
Nick Harris: Trades have been made to boost potential in certain areas, high-level draft picks have been made to alleviate weaknesses and the roster is as talented as it has ever been since the last Super Bowl win in 1996. This team has the pieces to put together a run, but consistency issues have plagued the franchise in the playoffs for much of the modern era under Prescott and McCarthy. If this team can stay healthy and consistent all the way through January, then there’s no reason why this team can’t make a run to the Super Bowl. Moves were made to address these issues this year, but will it be enough to wear the NFC crown?
Kurt Daniels: Pray the football gods smile upon them? Seriously, how often does this come down to just dumb luck? Would the Eagles have made the Super Bowl last season if the 49ers’ third-string quarterback hadn’t gotten hurt? Obviously, there’s more to it than that. The defense needs to be one of the best in the league and the offense has to be explosive and consistent. Dak Prescott, in particular, can’t have the lapses we saw last year because, as Mike McCarthy said, “Quarterbacks win Super Bowls.” And the Cowboys have to stay healthy … which, you know, takes a little luck.
With the veteran tackle’s injury happening in training camp last year, it will be very interesting to see how the Cowboys handle Tyron Smith’s workload in practice.
For the first time since his arrival, Tyron Smith isn’t locked into a specific starting position. When he reworked his deal to stay in Dallas early in the offseason, Jerry Jones said since Tyler Smith’s future was at LT, Tyron Smith’s place was at RT. Subsequent comments from the team indicate grooming Tyler Smith at LT may take a backseat to fielding “the best five.”
This has led many to wonder if Tyron Smith is still among the best-five. Last seen, his play at RT represented a significant falloff from Steele. That could be attributed to him playing the RT position for the first time in 11 years or it could be because he was trying to regain form after suffering a very significant injury. But it could also mean Tyron Smith has regressed as a pro and his best years are behind him.
All indications are the Cowboys plan to have a pretty open competition on their offensive line in 2023. Different players in different combinations will be tried early and often.
Tyron Smith will likely be tried at both RT and LT. Tyler Smith will likely get reps at both LT and LG. Steele could see action at RT and LG. Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball will also bounce around to different spots on the line.
It perfectly possible, amidst all the mixes and matches, Tyron Smith does not find a home in the top-five. Dallas has been extremely high on Chuma Edoga so perhaps he breaks through as the starting LG.
COWBOYS’ OFFENSIVE TACKLE SITUATION HAS QUESTIONS ONLY TRAINING CAMP CAN ANSWER - Mario Herrera Jr., Inside The Star
It’s been a long wait to see any meaningful snaps in the trenches between the Cowboys offensive and defensive lines.
That makes the battle of the backups a focal point of training camp.
Established Starter(s): Tyron Smith, Terence Steele
It is my estimation that from this list, only Matt Waletzko will make the team.
The likeliest scenario is Waletzko is the top swing tackle, and will be the starter at right tackle if Steele isn’t ready for Week 1.
Should the Cowboys have a hole at guard, his work in the offseason lines him up as a possibility for that position, as well.
Buying or Selling Cowboys’ Top Offseason Performances Ahead Of Training Camp - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report
Jalen Tolbert may still have a long way to go, but year two is already off to a much better start.
WR Jalen Tolbert: Buy
As previously noted, Cooks has excelled as a mentor, and Tolbert might be the biggest beneficiary.
“Jalen Tolbert has had an incredible camp,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said, per Youmans. “And if you talk to Jalen, what he’ll tell you is that he’s spent a ton of time with Brandin.”
This echoes some of the offseason reporting from Walker.
“Tolbert is already making some waves in the war for WR4,” Walker wrote in June. “...Tolbert has already made several plays in two-minute drills and, from what I’ve seen, he’s playing more freely and isn’t thinking as much.”
I can buy that Tolbert’s offseason progress is legitimate. While the South Alabama product didn’t see the field much as a rookie, making the college-to-NFL transition can be extremely difficult for a small-school receiver. With a year under his belt, and the guidance of veterans like Cook, the 24-year-old should finally be ready to contribute.
Will Tolbert have a significant role in Year 2? Barring an injury, probably not a massive one. However, if Dallas utilizes a lot more four-receiver sets in Mike McCarthy’s West Coast-based offense, he’ll have opportunities to contribute.
And Tolbert, who amassed 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns in his final collegiate season, has the tools needed to make the most of his chances.
Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection 1.0: Predicting how team could break camp - David Helman, Fox Sports
The Cowboys depth in the secondary jumps off the page, and hard decisions will have to be made on experienced players at cornerback.
The intrigue at this spot is in figuring out the pecking order. The outside spots are set in stone, but there could be as many as three experienced veterans battling for the nickel corner job. It’s hard to remember a year the Cowboys looked this deep at corner.
The top three look like locks, and Israel Mukuamu showed some seriously intriguing growth in Year 2. Markquese Bell seems like he should have the inside track to a roster spot, though that’s not a guarantee.
Blogging The Boys Podcast Network and YouTube Channel
We offer a different show every single day on the Blogging The Boys podcast network, and on weekdays we offer two different shows every single day.
- Monday: 1st and 10 with Tony Catalina & Aidan Davis
- Monday: Hidden Yardage with Mark Lane and Sean Martin
- Tuesday: The Writer’s Block with Jess Nevarez and Brandon Loree
- Tuesday: BTB Roundtable with various BTB Staffers
- Wednesday: NFC East Mixtape with RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay
- Thursday: The Ocho with RJ Ochoa
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin’ Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Friday: The Star Seminar with Danny Phantom and Rabblerousr
- Saturday: The World’s Team with Meg Murray and Paul Stewart
Also every single weekday features a roundup episode of sorts similar to these news headlines that catches you up on everything that you need to know! Make sure to listen to Dallas Cowboys Daily hosted by Jess Nevarez from Monday through Friday. We also offer live shows every weekday afternoon on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
The Blogging The Boys podcast network is available on all major podcast platforms.