It’s never too early to look forward to the 2013 season and what it may lay in store for the Dallas Cowboys. Things will obviously change as the off-season progresses, but why don’t we take a look at three players that have showed flashes of greatness last season, but are primed to make a big impact in 2013 and beyond.
With the emergence of Dez Bryant as the clear number one receiver on the Cowboys’ roster and Miles Austin being as injury prone as he is, there needs to be someone to go to when one or both of these two are not available to Tony Romo. In steps Cole Beasley, the slot receiver from Southern Methodist. He didn’t do too much last year, but he did have one really good game against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. Beasley caught seven passes for 68 yards. He will probably never put up the same numbers as a player like Wes Welker, but he has the potential to be a security blanket for Romo in a similar way as Jason Witten is. Look for Beasley to improve his on-field outputs as he gains more trust and familiarity with Romo.
The Oklahoma product had his moments last season where he showed what he could do when he was incorporated in the offense more. In week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hanna had two catches for 45 yards. It doesn’t sound like much, but when one of your catches goes for 29 yards, then there is definitely something there that the Cowboys can build on. If Hanna can continue to progress and show what he is capable of, then Romo will have a similar asset New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady has in two top-tier pass catchers at the tight end position.
With the switch from the 3-4 base defense to the 4-3 base defense, the Cowboys have had to do some shuffling on the defensive side of the ball. Notable players like DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer are moving from linebackers to defensive ends. This will open up opportunities for players like Alex Albright to step up and shine. Being buried behind a very talented linebacker corps has limited to amount of playing time, and in turn, impact players like Albright could make on the field. With players like Ware, Spencer, Sean Lee, and Bruce Carter eating up the majority of snaps, Albright never had a chance to shine. Even with the signing of Justin Durant, look for Albright to lad at least a rotational spot on as one of the linebackers in Monte Kiffin’s defense.
As always these are players I see making huge strides this off-season. Who do you see making a big step forward this off-season? Get on that comment board and let your voice be heard.