The Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of a boost. They need key players on both sides of the ball to step up and make the entire team as a whole better so they can find their way into the playoffs, and hopefully play for a championship. That all starts when the players go “camping.”
Most of the news at this time of year is focused around how players are performing in minicamps and how that has differed from their work in organized team activities. This gives us as fans a brief look into what may be this coming season. More work is coming and player will really start to turn things up a notch when the pads come on and we are no longer talking about the things the players are doing in non-contact situation.
When pads are strapped on a whole new level of intensity is established where the good get better and the mediocre either find a way to break through or they fold. Keep your eye on these battles this year during training camp and see if the Cowboys roster can continue to improve, or again walk the path of mediocrity.
Morris Claiborne vs Dez Bryant
Last year we saw what an electric talent Dez Bryant really is and believe it or not so far this offseason he has taken it up another notch. That’s a good thing not only for the Cowboys’ chances this upcoming season, but also for the development of a young cornerback like Morris Claiborne.
When you have a young guy like Claiborne, who was touted as not only the best corner coming out of college, but quite possibly the best defensive player, you need to put him through the fire and see how much he can take. Matching him up with a receiver as good as Bryant is exactly what the doctor ordered.
So far this offseason when the two match up it’s a battle of who wants it more and neither player is backing down. Claiborne will not see receivers as good as Bryant every week, so as he goes toe-to-toe with him on a weekly basis it will only do wonders for his development and his confidence.
Travis Frederick vs Jay Ratliff
Dallas has some pretty good players along their defensive line. With the switch to a 4-3 one player in particular is slotted to have a bounce-back season – Jay Ratliff.
As we all know Dallas used their first-round pick on Travis Frederick out of Wisconsin. He’s a mauler who needs to work on his ability to handle speed rushers. Ratliff not only has the speed to get off the ball and be in an offensive lineman’s face before he even gets into his stance, he also has the power to knock the opposing lineman on his butt on his way to the quarterback.
Having a healthy Ratliff in there causing chaos during practice and come Sunday is just what the Cowboys need and Frederick’s rookie season will go a lot smoother as he learns to deal with someone as disruptive as Ratliff.
Joseph Randle vs The Dallas Defense
Starting running back DeMarco Murray has problem staying healthy – we all know this. Because of this fact a guy like Joseph Randle is in line to get a lot of carries this season. They may come as a way to spell Murray for a few series, or as an injury necessity. Either way, Randle will need to be up to speed and ready at a moment’s notice.
What better way to get him up to par than throwing him in the fire of defensive standouts and stars like DeMarcus Ware, Ratliff, Anthony Spencer, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Brandon Carr, and the list goes on. These are all top-notch players that are a terror for opponents to deal with. Link Frederick, Randle will have to pass through fire before he will be ready to contribute on a weekly basis, and what batter way to accomplish that than to have him light it up with some of the best defensive players out there?