‘The Jump’ Is Huge For Dallas Cowboys
The NFL is full of theories and sayings, one of which will be of particular importance for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. One of the theories suggests that players typically make their biggest improvements from year one to year two. It’s referred to as the ‘The Jump’ and the Cowboys need that old adage to hold true if they are going end their playoff drought.
Dallas has some key pieces that need to ascend into big-time players in just their second year for the team to end their streak of mediocrity. If it happens, the team could be looking at brighter future, and hopefully, a playoff berth.
Here are the names to watch-out for:
The debate over whether Frederick was worthy of a first round pick should be long gone by now. If his play from 2013 was any indication, the Cowboys have a center capable of anchoring the offensive line for years to come. Improvements from Frederick will likely result in a Pro Bowl type of season and should help keep Tony Romo very comfortable in the pocket.
There is no need to re-hash the selection of Escobar or who they could have drafted in his place because that time has long passed. The Cowboys saw potential in Escobar as an elite pass catching tight end to keep up with the new trend of athletes at the position. Things did not work out well since the Cowboys ditched some of their plans in how they were going to utilize their tight ends, so Escobar didn’t do much more than just flash his athletic ability. However, a full off-season in the weight room, a renewed commitment (so we hear) to getting him on the field in better position to make plays and we could see a big jump from the sophomore tight end. Escobar certainly has the talent to create miss-matches all over the field. If he can do the things fans were promised when he was drafted, Dallas’ offense could be unstoppable.
When it comes to Escobar, there are believers and doubters among Cowboys fans. Many here at Cowboysnation.com are believers, which are you?
Aside from Frederick, Williams was the most impressive rookie for the Cowboys last season. He was pressed into action early and didn’t disappoint. Williams produced a lot of big plays. He may have slowed down near the end of the year, but that is typical for a rookie. Now he’ll get a full off-season to get stronger, better at getting off the line of scrimmage cleanly. He will also become the beneficiary of being across from Dez Bryant. Big things should be coming for Williams and if he makes that leap in his second season, the offense should be one of the best in the league.
Like with Escobar, the ability is there, but Wilcox flashed much more potential than his offensive counterpart, he just had a few bad breaks throughout the year. Wilcox has the potential make a very big jump in year two and the team believes in him so much they didn’t feel the need to draft a safety with a high selection in May. The athletic attributes are there for Wilcox, he just needs to learn the game and for things to slow down for him, which is what the off-season is for. If Wilcox can make the jump, the Dallas defense has found themselves a keeper at safety.
Wilcox appears to be a another player who fans believe in or not; count me in as a believer.
Some people feel the Cowboys stole Holloman in the sixth round of last year’s draft and that he needed time to develop. Those ‘people’ appeared to be right when Holloman always seemed to be around the ball during the pre-season and was on his way to being a nice piece for the depth of the Dallas defense. An injury derailed some of what could have been a good rookie season, but Holloman finished out the year with a strong performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in place of Sean Lee at middle linebacker.
In fact, Holloman’s athleticism, speed and experience as a safety in college could lead him to winning the middle linebacker spot in place of Lee in 2014. He seems to be the best fit on the roster to do so, and it’s that type of improvement in year two that could lead to big things from Holloman and the Cowboys.
If these five players can make ‘The Jump’ in their second seasons, the Cowboys will have found some key pieces to build on in the future and it could make the difference in the team making the playoffs in 2014.
As usual with the Cowboys, here’s to hoping!
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