Dallas Cowboys: The Best Defensive Positional Battles

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys will have a ton of exciting positional battles in store for training camp. Here are some of the positions that could be involved.

The Dallas Cowboys positional battles heading into training camp and OTA’s are already looking pretty juicy. We are already looking at a brand new crop of players for the defensive backfield and considering how many starters departed in free agency, there should be a significant change up at those positions.

One could argue that the Cowboys defensive line is the best that it has been in recent memories as the organization has acquired a ton of high caliber talent upfront. The youth movement on this roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball should push all of the veterans to be more productive than they have been in the past.

Defensive Backfield: The position has been marred with terrible play in recent history as the Cowboys have allowed a lot of big plays in the passing game. The most memorable would be New York Giants star wide receiver, Odell Beckham’s catch that led to a Madden cover.

Hopefully this will not happen again as the team has invested a lot of draft stock into fixing this secondary. Cowboy fans will remember the acquisition of cornerback Nolan Carroll who is a former Philadelphia Eagle.

They should also remember the success Cowboys star wide receiver, Dez Bryant had on him during their meetings in the past. Carroll was the Cowboys biggest free agent acquisition and that says a lot about the franchise’s view on building a competitive football team.

The draft is where most of the team’s starters come from and Carroll could have been seen as a band aid to give the team some positional flex when it came to selecting players early on during the draft. The Cowboys still selected three cornerbacks and a safety during the NFL’s biggest offseason event.

This means the competition in the defensive backfield this season should be fierce as the team looks to find their next stars in the secondary. Chidobe “Chido” Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis should immediately bring some juice and energy to the cornerback position in a way we have not seen since the 1990’s.

They are being viewed as the future starters at the position and when you couple them with sophomore cornerback Anthony Brown, this is a pretty exciting young group.  There is also the wildcard Marquez White who could easily fight for time on the outside.

The veterans should be excited of the level of talent that was just brought into the organization but they should also know that they will be pushed harder than ever before. Orlando Scandrick, Nolan Carroll, Jeff Heath, Byron Jones, and Robert Blanton will all be faced with the potential of losing snaps to a much younger group of players (well, maybe not Jones).

Safety Xavier Woods was an absolute steal in the sixth round and is my early favorite to take over the starting job opposite Jones. As training camp progresses it would be easy to see if any of these young players will end up running away with a starting position and who becomes an expendable asset.

Defensive Line: The defensive line is looking better than it has in some time. The addition of rookie pass rusher Taco Charlton along with some other new bodies should give the team enough help along the edge to finally generate some pressure.

The Cowboys have invested in this offensive line however one misfire with Randy Gregory proved to set the defensive line back a bit. Now it is Charlton’s turn to prove that he can be a cure to what ails the Cowboys pass rush.

Charlton by far is the best defensive lineman in regards to his pedigree. He is the only first round pick along the defensive line and that will mean high expectations. He should push for a starting defensive end job as camp kicks off which could throw Tyrone Crawford inside likely to take over for Cedric Thornton.

If Charlton can be a day one starter there is no telling where this defense can go. Two other exciting rookies are Jordan Carrell and Joey Ivie IV who should push for snaps early on.

Veteran players like Benson Mayowa, Damontre Moore, and Stephen Paea should be looking to make an impact at the beginning of camp to solidify their roles on the roster. This should make for terrific competition as players battle for starting roles.

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There is also the returning Charles Tapper who will likely to generate a buzz quickly. He has the potential to be a real threat along the edge with such a terrific supporting cast. It will be interesting to see which pass rusher shines the brightest as training camp gets under way.