Which Dallas Cowboys’ players might emerge as training camp MVP candidates in the coming weeks?
Year after year, there are a handful of players who impress during Dallas Cowboys‘ training camp. Whether that play actually translates to the regular season is another issue.
Yet, with a virtual offseason training program in place this year, which players could shine in the coming weeks during camp at The Star in Frisco is a bigger unknown than ever. But we do have a few guesses on which players might emerge as MVP training camp candidates in 2020.
Michael Gallup, WR
Wide receiver Michael Gallup double his production between his rookie and sophomore seasons in Dallas. And while the presence of Amari Cooper and first-round rookie CeeDee Lamb will limit Gallup’s numbers in the regular season, his growth should be on full display during training camp potentially proving he’s worthy of number one receiver-level respect entering Year Three.
Connor Williams, OG
Drafted in the second round back in 2018 after being touted as a potential first-round talent, Connor Williams has underwhelmed during his two-year stint in Dallas. But honestly, who wouldn’t playing next to the likes of perennial Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Entering his third season as a pro, and with 21 NFL starts under his belt, this could be the moment the 23-year old’s potential becomes reality.
Andy Dalton, QB
A nine-year starter in the NFL and three-time Pro Bowler, I’m sure many fans are expecting Andy Dalton to come in and play at a high-level. But we’re predicting the 32-year old comes in and looks instantly at home in Dallas, perhaps even outshining starter Dak Prescott at times. If there are to be any rumblings about a possible quarterback controversy, that speculation could start with Dalton lighting up training camp practices.
Tony Pollard, RB
Recently touted by Pro Football Focus as one of the NFL’s top three running back units, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard carried the Cowboys’ fifth-ranked rushing offense last season. That’s amazing considering Dallas also possessed a top-two passing attack. In his rookie season, Pollard was a worthy second fiddle to Zeke and should further prove this summer he’s ready for a bigger workload in 2020.
Aldon Smith, DE
Having not played in an NFL game in five years, former All-Pro pass rusher Aldon Smith will be given every opportunity to earn the starting role and replace last year’s sack leader, Robert Quinn, at right defensive end. Reportedly being in remarkable shape, Smith could impress onlookers early in camp which will translate to massive fan-hype heading into Week One.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Last year’s undrafted rookie linebacker standout Luke Gifford got some consideration here. But coming off a neck injury, Leighton Vander Esch should be ready to prove that his Pro Bowl rookie season back in 2018 was no fluke. Now, saying he feels better than ever, expect the Wolf Hunter to go out and try to make an early statement during training camp that’s he back to his old self.
Jourdan Lewis, CB
A new defensive coaching regime in Dallas could breathe life into the young career of cornerback Jourdan Lewis. Entering the final year of his rookie deal with the Cowboys, Lewis must prove that he deserves an extension. And the race for starting roles in the secondary is wide open. The reelection campaign for Lewis should begin by showing out at training camp.