The Dallas Cowboys are about to begin their regular season. In this article we will discuss the five Cowboys poised to make a big impact in their opener.
The regular season is finally upon us And the Dallas Cowboys could not kick things off against a better opponent than the New York Giants next Sunday. Dallas has several key players that are looking to step up in a major way.
From rookies to veterans, this team will need their starters at every position to perform at a very high level to find success in 2016. Below, we will discuss the players who will look to make a major impact in the Cowboys big Week One showdown.
The Dallas Cowboys will get a huge boost along this defensive line after acquiring defensive tackle, Cedric Thornton during the 2016 free agency period. The former Philadelphia Eagle has shown flashes of pass rushing greatness and is a proficient run stopper at various points along the line.
It appears defensive tackles Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain have become the starters along the interior. The versatility of several of these linemen most likely Thornton will spend most of his time in special packages, and could very well end up as one of the Cowboys most productive pass rushers.
Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
This one is obvious. Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys 2016 first round pick and will make his debut as the starting running back behind the best offensive line in the NFL. He was incredibly impressive against the Seattle Seahawks first team defense and even managed to truck Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor.
The New York Giants finished the 2015 season ranked 14th in run defense amongst other NFL teams. The addition of $200 million worth of talent will certainly test Elliott’s abilities as a runner however the Giants are no where near the Seahawks in terms of talent on the defensive side of the ball. This game could set the tone for the season and the Cowboys first round pick is looking to make a lot of noise.
The Cowboys primary kick/punt returner, Lucky Whitehead is a talented gadget player. He has yet to really come into his own as a receiver but put his talents on display during the preseason as he has already scored a touchdown on a kick return. Whitehead could play a similar factor in Week One as the team will hope he can deliver some quality field position in this bitter, divisional matchup.
Dallas has seen a lot of bad first round picks during their time in the NFL but none of them have really rubbed Cowboys fans the wrong way more than cornerback Morris Claiborne. The former first round pick has basically been a liability on the field ever since he step foot onto the field. That is all about to change though.
Claiborne has been incredible in camp and has inspired hope that things are finally clicking for the young cornerback. As he enters his contract year, the embattled Cowboys cornerback would virtually have to out perform most of the cornerbacks on this roster if he wanted a chance at landing an extension. Putting on a productive performance against what will be one of the leagues most dangerous wide receiving corps.
Dak Prescott, Quarterback
2016 Fourth round pick, Dak Prescott had the best preseason performance of any player in the NFL. The excitement level about what he can do during the regular season is at a fever pitch. Suddenly this upgraded Giants defense will need to face a quarterback who is seemingly a triple threat, he can run, pass accurately, and is a natural born leader.
In comparison to the first team defenses Prescott has faced the Giants are seemingly in the middle of the pack. He will have to deal with disguised coverages and exotic blitz packages however there is a strong sentiment that this rookie can handle everything the Giants and the rest of the NFL can throw at him.