3 important Cowboys questions as training camp gets underway

The Dallas Cowboys are starting their training camp in Oxnard, California this week. This is a good time to ask a few important questions about the team's overall state.
Jul 26, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) carries the ball
Jul 26, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) carries the ball / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys training camp is underway and the takeaways have largely been positive aside from injuries to safeties Donovan Wilson and Israel Mukuamu. Trevon Diggs has missed some practice time with a toe injury, but reporters have confirmed it's just "sore" and nothing serious.

Besides that, things are looking good in Oxnard.

While big things are expected of the Cowboys in 2023, there are still multiple questions surrounding the team that ideally will get answered by the end of camp.

1. Can the Cowboys defense be elite?

I believe the pieces are in place. Mazi Smith and Johnathan Hankins will strengthen Cowboys defense. Trading for Stephen Gilmore will help too..

The Cowboys had a great pass rush last season, but teams responded by running the ball against them. It became increasingly successful as the season progressed. By acquiring Hankins, Dallas addressed this and they have now further reinforced their team by adding the extraordinary Mazi Smith.

The addition of Stephen Gilmore will complement Trevon Diggs and make the Cowboys' starting cornerbacks more dynamic. This should enable Malik Hooker to play free safety in the best possible way.

By making teams one dimensional on offense, the Cowboys' pass rush is expected to become even more menacing.

An increase in defensive snaps is expected for Sam Williams. The potential he showed in 2022 justifies giving him more playing time in 2023. Doing this will enable the Cowboys to preserve DeMarcus Lawrence's energy for the last stretch.

If their defense stays healthy, the Cowboys have the potential to be extraordinary.

2. Will Michael Gallup bounce back?

A player typically requires a year to recover completely after experiencing an ACL injury. Last season, Gallup didn't seem like himself. It was clear how much he struggled. Throughout the season, he worked hard but struggled to improve his separation.

He seems to be moving better in the first week of training camp. Brandin Cooks' presence will also lighten the load for Gallup.

3. Is Hunter Luepke Mike McCarthy's new John Kuhn?

There's nobody else on the Dallas Cowboys' roster like Luepke as a running back. He is a versatile player and can be used as a hybrid offensive weapon in many ways.

Luepke's impressive ability as a power running back/fullback is a result of his versatile talent, allowing him to excel in all aspects of the position.

Luepke's versatility makes him an effective pass catcher, a skilled blocker, and a valuable short-yardage ball carrier, possessing the traits of a classic West Coast fullback. It'll be interesting to see how many RBs the Cowboys carry in their backfield, and whether Luepke sticks as a potential short-yardage specialist akin to beloved former Packers fullback John Kuhn during Mike McCarthy's time in Green Bay.

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