Dallas Cowboys: More questions than answers


There are high expectations for the 2015 Dallas Cowboys and they perhaps have one of the deepest rosters since Jason Garrett has taken over as head coach.

There are however a lot of questions that have gone unanswered thus far throughout training camp and through the first two preseason games. Perhaps these questions can be answered in the upcoming preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. The third preseason game is usually the game that is considered dress rehearsal for a lot of the starters and should give us more of a glimpse of the actual team that will take the field against the New York Giants in week one.

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With position battles still ongoing, injury concerns that need to be addressed, and with the trimming of the roster coming up there are numerous reasons to pay close attention to the dress rehearsal preseason game against the Vikings.

Below are a few questions that I hope can be answered Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.

  • The running back position has by far the most unanswered questions, mostly due to the fact that all three of the top running backs have had to miss time due to injuries and haven’t had much of an impact in the first two preseason games. Is Joseph Randle, DeMarco Murray, and Lance Dunbar the answer at the running back position or do the Cowboys bring in someone via trade or as a free agent to improve the position?
  • Who will be Tony Romo‘s backup quarterback 2015? Brandon Weeden has yet to inspire any confidence that he’s going to be able to handle the job. Dustin Vaughn was supposed to make a push for the number two quarterback spot but has seemed to regress from his rookie year. Jameill Showers has probably outplayed Vaughn but is still very raw as a quarterback prospect. Do the Cowboys look outside the organization for Romo’s backup? How many quarterbacks make the 53 man roster?
  • The starting offensive line is set, but who will be the backup swing tackle? So far, Darrion Weems has been given every opportunity to prove to the coaching staff that he should win the job, but also has struggled throughout the first two preseason games. Is it simply rust that needs to be knocked off since he missed the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury or is that he’s not up to the task? Does the team look outside the organization for a swing tackle or are they willing to gamble that Weems is the answer?
  • How many tight ends make the final 53 man roster? Jason Witten‘s spot is unquestionably secure. James Hanna is still probably be number two tight end because of his blocking ability even though he’s battled a sprained knee and is in his final year of his rookie contract. Gavin Escobar is more of the new split tight end type that can create mismatches in the passing game, but has yet to find a defined role within the offensive scheme. Rookie Geoff Swaim could possibly make either Hanna or Escobar expendable due to his surprising play throughout training camp and the first two preseason games. What kind of trade value to Hanna and Escobar have, if any? Will the Cowboys keep all for tight ends?
  • With the loss of Orlando Scandrick, probably the Cowboys best defensive player in 2014, who will step up seize the opportunity? Morris Claiborne has yet to make an appearance in the preseason after coming back from a serious knee injury, but he might get the first crack at locking down one of the outside cornerback positions. Brandon Carr will undoubtedly play the opposite side, while second-year player Tyler Patmon handles the slot position. Where does Byron Jones fit in at the cornerback position or will he play as a safety? Possibly both? The same can be asked about Corey White who has been one of the pleasant surprises thus far in the preseason.
  • How many wide receivers do the Cowboys carry on the final roster? Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley are all locks to make the team, but beyond that is questionable. Devin Street has shown flashes of potential, but lacks in consistency which could be a result of the ankle injuries he’s battled through so far. Lucky Whitehead could be battling for a spot but that would be more because of the fact he’s the favorite to win the punt and kickoff return duties not because of his play as a receiver. Will the Cowboys look to add a veteran to help solidify position or could they possibly just go with what they have?
  • Who will fill Dwayne Harris‘ role in both the return game and on special teams? Lucky Whitehead is thought to be the favorite to win the job as the return man, but he hasn’t looked very comfortable returning punts and doesn’t really offer all that much as a wide receiver. Can the Cowboys justify keeping Whitehead strictly as a return man or do they try to find someone else that was cut from another team?

These are all questions that should be answered once roster cuts start to be finalized, but it is something that I personally will be keeping a close eye on throughout the remainder of the off-season.

The Cowboys organization has a lot of tough decisions to make and the result of those decisions could have a huge impact on the 2015 season. It all the more important that these decisions are correct due to the expectations that have been placed on the team by the players, coaching staff, organization, and even the fans.

Let me hear what you think over what questions you would like answered before the 2015 season kicks off in the comments section below.

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