The Dallas Cowboys will enter their Week One contest with the New York Giants with several key strengths and weaknesses that come with their roster.
The Dallas Cowboys are stepping into Week One of the NFL regular season with hope on their side as they clash with bitter divisional rivals, the New York Giants. The Cowboys lost their starting quarterback Tony Romo to a back injury and are incredibly thin on the defensive line, however their strengths are overwhelming.
Running Game: The NFL might not have a deeper running back unit than the one in Big D. The Cowboys drafted not one but two running backs during the 2016 NFL draft in first round pick Ezekiel Elliott and sixth round pick Darius Jackson. Both players have made the 53 man roster but they are not the only backs to join the franchise during the offseason.
Former Washington Redskin Alfred Morris has the Cowboys in hopes of having a significant role in this offense. This preseason had several strong showings from all three running running backs as the NFL awaits their debut in Dallas uniforms. The returning running backs include the currently injured Darren McFadden who will start the season on the NFI (non-football injury) list.
They also have the explosive Lance Dunbar who was one of the Cowboys most impressive backs of the 2015 season until he was sidelined with a season ending injury. This unit is deep and ready to fully utilize Dallas’s dominant offensive line.
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Pass Rush: The defensive line was largely ignored in the sense that Dallas may have not done enough to fully fortify this unit. The club brought in former Philadelphia Eagle, Cedric Thornton during the free agency period. He will surely provide a solid boost to this defensive line until the suspensions of Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are up.
The Cowboys added two draft picks that should give this line some versatility as third round selection and Nebraska alum Maliek Collins and fourth round pick Charles Tapper could provide some much needed depth as the season moves forward.
Collins has shown a ton of promise in camp and can push the pile when needed. The former Nebraska player should get a ton of reps early on as tries to generate a pass rush from the center of this line. Tapper is a defensive end who should help the Cowboys get a decent edge rush when he gets healthy.
Quarterback Play: While Dak Prescott has been lights out in the preseason but the regular season is a completely different animal. Week One will be a significant test for the rookie but all indications point to him being an efficient option at the quarterback position.
When you look at his production compared to his predecessors (aside from Romo) he is easily the best option the Cowboys have had in some time. The addition of veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez will only solidify Prescott’s hold on the starting job while Romo is out.
Secondary: The Cowboys defensive backfield easily has the most question marks surrounding it. Former first round pick Morris Claiborne will need to prove his worth as he has entered the final year of his contract. Cornerback Brandon Carr has also been a disappointment however he is reliable when it comes to his availability on game day. One thing is certain this Cowboys defensive backfield will have a lot to prove in the 2016 season.