The player not to overlook at LB is DeVonte Holloman. He has been a pleasant revelation this PS to say the least. In fact, he’s been good enough to start in the eyes of some. Might he shock the world and take that starting spot? He won’t do it to start the season, but don’t rule it out. Especially as it pertains to the long term future. Again, it’s a business and if the margin between talent is minimal but the margin between salaries is great, teams can opt for the salary relief. I will be watching Holloman on the coverage teams this year a lot. He finds the football. I’ve enjoyed watching him.
There are questions at Cornerback as well. I am assuming we will keep 5 CBs. The question is who is the 5th? Will it be Sterling Moore or Micah Pellerin. I personally believe Moore played a little bit better overall, but Pellerin was involved in a couple of big plays and he will cost less. As we’ve been saying, it is a business and this is the cold hard truth of business. When it comes down to the last few spots, money matters if talent and production is nearly equal.
There are undoubtedly questions at Safety as well. Will the Cowboys keep oft injured Matt Johnson? Has Jeff Heath done enough to make Johnson expendable? What about this kid Jakar Hamilton who has played well on Special Teams? Tough decisions loom here. Safety has been a weak position for the Cowboys for several years since the horse collar tackle rule took the aggression out of Roy Williams. The starters seem solidified with Will Allen and Barry Church, but finally there is depth at backup worth keeping. The problem is you can’t keep them all. Johnson has shown a knowledge of the game and a nose for the football, but he can’t stay on the field. It may cost him his shot. I think the Special Teams efforts of Heath, Hamilton and Willcox, a very promising young talent, have made Eric Frampton and Danny McCray and their higher salaries expendable. So it comes down to does Hamilton have a higher ceiling than Johnson? Tough call.
I expect the Defensive Line to be the focus of the 2014 Draft for the early rounds for the Cowboys. Anthony Spencer did not get a long term deal by the July 15th deadline and will be a Unrestricted Free Agent for the 3rd year in a row. He won’t be Franchise Tagged again, so he is probably gone in a salary saving move. I assume Jay Ratliff and his lingering injury issues are also going to be gone. In fact if Tyrone Crawford had not been hurt Ratliff very well may have been the surprise cut of this year. Hatcher and Crawford are undoubtedly our future at Defensive Tackle with a 1st round pick likely to be the bookend for DeMarcus Ware in the future. In the interim Nick Hayden was a pleasant surprise and will start for the Cowboys at least until Ratliff makes it back.
It looks like the three Specialists are as set as we all figured they would be. Who will the Turk visit? Is their anyone being visited by the Turk on another team that could end up in Dallas? We’ll have all the answers by 6:00 Eastern and by the end of Sunday we’ll know who the 8 players are who made the Practice Squad too. It’s a sad and exciting time of year for football players and fans. I live in an area of the country where people say I don’t have four seasons. I tell them that is ridiculous. I have the off season, the pre season, the regular season, and the post season. Notice how my seasons just get better as they progress. Let’s hope that happens for the Cowboys too.