2018 Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Dak Prescott||Cooper Rush||Mike White|
|Running Back||Ezekiel Elliott||Rod Smith|
|Left Wide Receiver||Amari Cooper||Michael Gallup||Deonte Thompson|
|Right Wide Receiver||Cole Beasley||Allen Hurns||Tavon Austin|
|Tight End||Blake Jarwin||Geoff Swaim||Dalton Schultz|
|Full Back||Jamize Olawale|
|Left Tackle||Tyron Smith||Cameron Fleming|
|Left Guard||Connor Williams||Zavier Su'a-Filo|
|Center||Joe Looney||Travis Frederick|
|Right Guard||Zack Martin||Adam Redmond|
|Right Tackle||La'el Collins||Cameron Fleming|
A restless fan base, an owner with very high expectations, and a full slate of prime-time games on national television is just business as usual for the Dallas Cowboys. In a division with the reigning Super Bowl Champions, a healthy OBJ and a Redskins team that could be the biggest sleeper in the league, the Cowboys have quite the season ahead of them. With the departure of Dez Bryant and retirement of Jason Witten, the team is readily looking for successors to their record-breaking superstars. Not to mention, Dallas is set to face one of the most brutal schedules in terms of pass defense in the league.
The Cowboys are also looking to do some rebranding and the coaches seem eager to adjust expectations. Head coach Jason Garrett wants the teams’ identity to come from the offensive and defensive lines, citing them as the backbone of the team. However, a lack of depth on both sides of the ball could also spell trouble for Dallas. Jerry’s World went all out for this year’s draft. While it remains to be seen how much playing time Cowboy rookies will get, the team is poised to make some waves.
Make it Rayne
After becoming America’s Team’s sweetheart in 2016, quarterback Dak Prescott went on to face a less than stellar sophomore year. This season is crucial for Dak if he wants to cement his place as the unquestioned leader and face of the franchise. Unlike players drafted in the first round, the fourth-round pick can start negotiating a new contract after this season. Winning big this year could set Prescott up to be a made man but if he isn’t able to get back to those 2016 stats, who knows if Jerry Jones will be willing to pony up big bucks for him. The departure of several big names also gives Rayne Dakota Prescott a chance to show the world who he really is.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has drawn criticism for his lack of creativity in play calling and formations but the Cowboys seem more than happy to be a run-heavy offense, even in a league that loves to open up the passing game.
Dallas is thrilled about the return of Ezekiel Elliott but the star back will be running behind a banged up O-line. Even though Zack Martin is expected to play Week 1, people are going to take notice whenever an $84 million guard goes down. The Cowboys are also banking on Joe Looney’s veteran poise and smarts as he steps in for center Travis Frederick.
The offense won’t fall entirely on Zeke’s shoulders. Training camp darling Michael Gallup is stretching his chops. This plug and play starter has big shoes to fill with the departure of Dez Bryant, but if his performance thus far is any indication, he is up for the challenge. Gallup is proving he is down to do the dirty work, running routes, creating separation, and working towards a promising future.
Other wide receivers include Cole Beasley and new acquisitions Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin. While Austin has fallen short of expectations, it’s worth noting that no team has been able to really utilize his unique physical gifts. Perhaps Dallas is the right fit.
Don’t Doubt the Defense
Second year corner Chidobe Awuzie is as good as advertised, settling into the defense and starting to make a name for himself. He is a perfect fit for the position and is helping the sometimes-struggling defense trend in the right direction. And don’t forget about Taco Charlton. The defensive end is warming up and expected to play a larger role on defense. Even defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli says there is no doubt in his mind this is one of the most talented starting seven he has seen since becoming coordinator in 2014.
The Cowboys desperately need help at safety and while Earl Thomas did tell Jason Garrett “come get me” last season, the decision and trade option has to start with the Seattle Seahawks.
Jerry Jones might have you believe this is the best defense he’s ever seen, but that remains to be seen. If the Cowboys are able to cultivate a well-balanced offense, and the defense is able to get the ball back to them, Dallas could be onto something.