Last season the Dallas Cowboys had a few stars emerge in both the offense and defense. No star shined brighter than second year linebacker Sean Lee, which I believe, had a pro bowl caliber season. On the offensive side of the ball the Cowboys had third string reciever and journeyman Laurent Robinson. After failing to make the San Diego Chargers roster in the offseason the Cowboys brought in Robinson for a workout. Robinson went on to sign a one-year deal with the Cowboys and ended the season with 858 yards and 11 touchdowns. The question now is who has the potential to be the next Dallas Cowboys breakout player?
Dez Bryant Dez Bryant a former 2010 first round draft pick was the highest rated receiver prospect coming out of college in 2010. He managed to drop to the Cowboys as a result of character issues and work ethic. Since joining the Cowboys Dez Bryant has had more than a hand full of plays that have shown flashes of greatness. In the 2011 season Bryant nearly eclipsed the 1000-yard mark, but was slowed down by injuries. Dez Bryant has been highly praised this offseason for his work ethic and determination. According to many resources, signs indicate that Dez Bryant will emerge as a star contributor in the Dallas Cowboys offense in 2012.
Mike Jenkins, a former 2009 pro bowl cornerback, watched his role diminish when the Dallas Cowboys selected cornerback Morris Claiborne with their first pick of the 2012 draft. Since the draft Jenkins has been unsuccessful in finding a way out of Dallas. Although, Mike Jenkins is unhappy with what has transpired in the last few months of the offseason, he is still determined to land a starting job if not here somewhere else next year. That determination and the fact that he will be lining up against third string talent should allow him to flourish next season.
Last year the defensive line struggled and failed to put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. One of those defensive lineman only got to play 283 snaps and showed more potential than most of his teammates. His name is Sean Lissemore; he is not a household name and shouldn’t be considered one yet. Sean Lissemore was credited with 28 tackles and 2 sacks last season and has a defense rating of 13.8. To give you an idea of how well he did only two defensive players were rated higher DeMarcus Ware, and Jay Ratliff. He was rated 3rd overall on defense along side Sean lee, those are bold ratings for a guy who only played 283 snaps. Lets hope all the hype following Lissemore emerges onto the field next season.
One of the questions this offseason is who will start opposite Sean lee? Will it be former Penn State teammate and free agent acquisition Dan Connor? Or will it be Fast but yet unproven second year linebacker Bruce Carter? Many believe Dan Connor will reconnect with Sean Lee as the new starting linebacker duo next season. The way I see it, Carter will find the same success Sean Lee did in his second year with the Cowboys and become a huge contributor to this defense for years to come.
Although last year can be considered a breakout season for Murray, he didn’t manage to stay healthy. He needs to prove this year that he can be in every down back well managing to stay healthy throughout the year. It was not to long ago when Felix Jones showed flashes of being a great running back. After several injuries he never looked the same, and that is what we are hoping doesn’t happen to Murray. DeMarco Murray should have a breakout season and possibly a Pro Bowl season if he manages to keep up the pace from last year.
Overall, all these players have the prospective to become the next star for the Dallas Cowboys. Many will outshine others, but more than likely only one will leave a lasting impression. Who do you believe is worthy of being the breakout player next season?