Cowboys 53-man roster prediction before training camp: Prioritizing potential

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
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Defensive Line (9): Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Sam Williams, Osa Odighizuwa, Johnathan Hankins, Mazi Smith, Chauncey Golston, Viliami Fehoko, Dorance Armstrong

Even though Lawrence and Hankins are on the downslopes of their careers, they still have high end roles on this team and aren’t in jeopardy of losing their jobs to high potential challengers. Mazi Smith, Hankins’ top challenger at starting DT, will likely take a while to develop (like most DTs) so patience will be required.

Osa Odighizuwa is safest and highest potential 3-technique on the roster with Golston rotating behind him. The rookie Fehoko will follow Golston’s developmental plan and move between DE and DT as well. All three players have their best football ahead of them.

Sam Williams is the high potential second year DE who has the highest ceiling, while Armstrong is coming off his most productive season as a pro. Losing out is the veteran Dante Fowler who has tapped out his potential and would be seen as a progress stopper in this scenario.

Linebacker (5) Leighton Vander Esch, Damone Clark, Jabril Cox, DeMarvion Overshown, Isaiah Land

The Dallas Cowboys like to go six deep at LB but with so many talented safeties on their roster they may have to “rob Peter to pay Paul (so to speak).” It helps the Cowboys predominantly play with two or fewer LBs at a time and many of their safeties can play the same roles as their LBs.

LVE is the top man of the group who has evolved as both a run-stuffer as well as a coverage player. Clark had a promising rookie season who should continue to develop in coming years. Cox was once an elite college coverage LB/SAF who has been hampered with injuries as a pro. His ceiling is sky high if he can just stay healthy.

Overshown is the newest rookie to the mix who like Cox, thrives in coverage. And Isaiah Land is the UDFA who could be a special weapon as a blitzer (which gives him the nod here).