Dallas Cowboys: 5 potential training camp darlings
With training camp kicking off for the Dallas Cowboys, here are five potential camp darlings whose play could attract the media spotlight.
With training camp starting up, the Dallas Cowboys are that much closer to playing real football and the regular season. Yet, there are still many unanswered questions that the camp itself should answer.
Every year, there are standouts during training camp. They don’t always translate to regular season performance. But they do provide hope for a potential breakout performance and draw the media spotlight.
Here are my five best guesses for possible training camp darlings amongst this year’s group of Cowboys.
Byron Jones, CB
This offseason, Jones made the switch from safety to cornerback at the behest of new defensive backs coach Kris Richard. The former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator will attempt to transform the former first rounder into a quality corner. And so far, Jones has been receiving rave reviews. I expect this hype to only intensify during training camp.
Michael Gallup, WR
All eyes will be on 2018 third-round selection Michael Gallup as he appears to be the X-factor in this bloated wide receiver corps. With Dez Bryant gone, Terrance Williams‘ foot injury/recent arrest, and Cole Beasley underwhelming performance last season; there is a real opportunity for Gallup to earn himself a starting role as a rookie during training camp.
Blake Jarwin, TE
The unexpected departure of longtime tight end Jason Witten left the Cowboys in a terrible situation in his absence. Dallas simply was not prepared for Witten’s sudden retirement and are now left with a bunch of inexperienced tight ends to try to fill this vacancy. Out of the bunch, it’s Blake Jarwin that has emerged as an early favorite. His performance in training camp can solidify him as the Cowboys’ new starter.
Jaylon Smith, LB
It was a successful debut for Jaylon Smith in his second year in Dallas. That after the former Notre Dame star spent his entire rookie season recovering from a devasting knee injury. And just when it appeared Smith was prepared to take the next step in his development this year, the Cowboys drafted Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch in the first round. The two will battle it out in training camp to see who starts next to Pro Bowler Sean Lee. But it’s Smith that is poised to really impress this summer.
Xavier Woods, FS
The topic of free safety has been the subject of several headlines this year in Dallas. Trade rumors concerning Seattle Seahawks disgruntled All-Pro safety Earl Thomas will continue to haunt this Cowboys team until a move is made or his contract issues are settled. Through it all, Dallas has stood behind former sixth-rounder Xavier Woods are their safety of the future. He’ll have a chance to prove the organization’s public faith in him was more than just a smokescreen during training camp.