In June it’s a long shot to predict the Dallas Cowboys offensive starters for the first preseason game. Speculation is an offseason ritual.
Injuries and unexpected player development will alter the Dallas Cowboys depth chart before the preseason opener on August 10th. Finally with rare impressive depth, the exhibition games should feature more competitive lineups for the Cowboys.
The healthy, regular season starters usually receive one series in the first throwaway game. However, such a low pitch count isn’t worthy of the starter label. It will be interesting to see who fills out the first units to receive extended action.
Below is a prediction of the offensive starters after the first series in San Francisco.
OFFENSIVE SKILL PLAYERS
COOPER RUSH (QB)
DARIUS JACKSON (RB)
NOAH BROWN (WR)
MICHAEL GALLUP (WR)
TAVON AUSTIN (WR)
DALTON SCHULTZ (TE)
Cooper Rush and Darius Jackson will likely get first crack based on seniority. The buzz from OTA’s claims Jackson has slimmed up adding more burst to his game. The youngsters behind them will receive equal opportunities as preseason unfolds.
Michael Gallup will play deeper into the game to hone his skills. It’s possible he could get snaps at X-receiver after Amari Cooper leaves quickly. But sticking with current roles, Noah Brown will likely replace Cooper and pair with Gallup.
Tavon Austin is the incumbent slot receiver behind Randall Cobb, though coaches are excited to see rookie speedster Jon’Vea Johnson there. Dalton Schultz is the backup, all-down tight end. His early down blocking will be needed to execute vanilla offense.
IN THE TRENCHES
CAMERON FLEMING (LT)
CONNOR WILLIAMS (LG)
JOE LOONEY (C)
CONNOR MCGOVERN (RG)
JAKE CAMPOS (RT)
This prediction is far too premature as many moving parts will be settled during training camp. Cameron Fleming begins at left tackle, the most likely position he’ll see action in the regular season with Tyron Smith‘s injury history.
Connor Williams stays in to sharpen his skills. Joe Looney will be the veteran center presence, though Connor McGovern will get snaps there also. McGovern is playing both guards in OTA’s and gets the right side nod over Xavier Su’a-Filo.
The biggest concern at this point is backup right tackle. Fleming will backup both sides in the regular season, but Dallas needs two starters in preseason. Jake Campos doesn’t have regular season abilities. No rookie tackle has impressed in OTA’s to warrant his demotion. Hopefully one will make the leap when the pads come on.