3 Cowboys players winning their position battles so far in training camp

  • Who has the edge at RB2?
  • A new DE3?
  • A Dalton Schultz replacement emerges
Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams (54) tackles
Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams (54) tackles / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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There were several position battles heading into training camp for the Dallas Cowboys. While some were more important than others, each can have an impact on the team's success. Some of these may already be solved, while others easily could have had setbacks, especially after last week's brutal loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

What I mean by that is the injuries specifically that came from this game. Rookie third-rounder DeMarvion Overshown had a fantastic camp and preseason, but unfortunately tore his left ACL on Saturday night. He all but had the LB3 spot wrapped up, but now that is again a question, similar to how it was prior to draft weekend.

The same could be said about UDFA tight end John Stephens Jr., who also suffered a torn left ACL in Saturday's loss. Many believed he would be the rightful owner to a TE4 spot, had they kept that many on the roster after camp. However, it now looks like Sean McKeon has an inside track to making the 53-man roster yet again.

Those positions specifically I would like to leave out of this article for a handful of reasons. It just doesn't feel right to say a training camp battle is won simply at the expense of an injured player who was seemingly having a better camp than them. It also is because, mostly for the linebacker spot, that may easily be addressed through a late-camp signing, whether that's bringing Anthony Barr back or adding another veteran to the fold.

For now, we will address three spots that were the talk of the town heading into camp and how those have unfolded thus far. Let's dive in.

3. The RB2 battle is more clear than some may think

After Ronald Jones' suspension, it was clear this race was down to two players: Rico Dowdle and Malik Davis. Both seem capable of taking significant touches if necessary, and both have had flashes in the past. Now, it is still a two-player race, but now between Dowdle and rookie RB Deuce Vaughn.

Or is it even that?

It is clear that Dowdle will be the RB2, and before fans get upset, Vaughn has been electric all preseason and training camp. However, this isn't a knock on Deuce at all. He plays very very well in a limited role where he can be given space. On short-yardage and early down situations, that needs to go to a back who can handle carries in between the tackles and not worry as much about injury.

If Tony Pollard were to go down, it would and should be Dowdle's job to secure the most carries out of the remaining RBs. He himself has also had a really nice camp and preseason aside from a couple of plays that people are clinging to. Rather than thinking of Dowdle and Vaughn being the RB2 and 3, think of it more like the RB2a and RB2b. Both should get touches, but both with very different skillsets.