If the Dallas Cowboys had a game this weekend the depth chart would be a most interesting endeavor indeed.
Ed Note: Click here for a visual representation of the entire Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart.
At this juncture of the season a teams depth chart can be quite alarming. Entire position groups can be decimated due to free agency, retirement and/or injury. Thanks to the Jason Garrett approach to the offseason of using NFL Free Agency to set the team up as if the draft wasn’t an option, the Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart isn’t quite as dramatic as some teams, yet it has it’s points of interest. Let’s break it down.
QB – Dak Prescott is backed up by NFL journeyman Jamiell Showers. Look for a late veteran signing.
RB – Ezekiel Elliott is backed up by Alfred Morris. This should change and word on the street is Morris may actually be shown the door. A late veteran signing is likely . UDFA prospects will abound.
FB – Former LB and current special teams ace Keith Smith returns.
WR – The gang is back together! Dez, TWill and Da Beaze will be backed up by Brice Butler and Andy Jones.
TE – It’s Dallas. Jason Witten is da man. James Hanna is under contract and should be back. Geoff Swaim is on the rise and Rico Gathers is still a diamond in the rough. The position may get an upgrade in a rich TE draft but is deep as is.
OL – With Doug Free retiring it gets really interesting here. For the moment we put highly talented training room aficionado Chaz Green starting at RT and La’El Collins at LG. In truth it’s unknown what will happen here. A savvy vet signing of OC Mangold or OG Cooper is probable. So is the Cowboys standing pat. They could also look to the draft. The OL is the Dallas Cowboys. This situation will be watched closely.
Edge Rusher – Damontre Moore joins Benson Mayowa and Charles Tapper on the weak side. Moore is a one-gapper who has been playing out of scheme his entire career. Mayowa started to break out at the end of last year and Tapper is nothing but upside. DeMarcus Lawrence will be listed as the starter, but on passing downs look for him to switch to the strong side and one of the players just mentioned to be tasked with bringing the heat from the QB’s blind side. A draft pick upgrade is probable, though not a given.
1-Tech – Cedric Thornton and Stephen Paea will vie for starting honors yet each will get plenty of snaps.
3-Tech – Maliek Collins, David Irving and Tyrone Crawford bring a dynamic to the position the Cowboys haven’t enjoyed for years.
Strong Side DE – The Cowboys are deep here. Tyrone Crawford anchors the spot but moves inside when needed. Both David Irving and DeMarcus Lawrence will see significant snap counts here as well.
LB – Sean Lee is (finally) joined by redshirt rookie Jaylon Smith and the unit looks instantly better. Kyle Wilber is versatile and reliable. Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson and Mark Nzeocha have all improved. Infusion from the draft is probable.
CB – Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown are joined by veteran Nolan Carroll. The draft will almost assuredly be tapped to bolster this unit.
Safety – Jeff Heath is currently the starter at strong safety and has played well as a special teams ace, backup safety and nickle/dime duty man. Sophomore Kavon Frazier backs him up. Like CB the draft will probably to be used to upgrade this unit as well. Perhaps not.
So as much as everyone wants to point at edge rusher as the Cowboys biggest issue, defensive back actually seems a position of greater need for Dallas and as it turns out, is reportedly a position of depth in this years upcoming draft.
Last year the Cowboys needed and received defensive line help in a deep defensive line draft. This year it seems the team will have a similar opportunity at DB and it couldn’t come at a better time. CB and Safety are this teams biggest needs. An offensive guard or right tackle would be nice as well.
Still a few weeks until the draft but the 2017 Cowboys are starting to take shape.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over