Dallas Cowboys Mailbag: Big questions loom before training camp

  • Why Matt Waletzko could be destined for a bigger role.
  • What should expectations be for Tony Pollard? 
  • How much will Mike McCarthy shake up the offense? 
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp / Josh Lefkowitz/GettyImages

In less than a week, training camp starts. The uncertainty doesn't prevent fans from speculating about the Dallas Cowboys' future. Before every training camp, I reflect on Bill Parcells' words during his time as the team's head coach.

According to Bill Parcells, three factors are crucial for building a winning football team: acquiring talented players, molding them into great shape, and choosing the best 53 to utilize their strengths.

If any of three things failed, Bill Parcells was convinced that trouble was on the horizon. Soon, the answers will reveal themselves.

For now, here's a Cowboys mailbag answers fans' questions from social media.

Can Matt Waletzko become the Cowboys swing tackle? - Donald Andrews

I think he has potential, but it's uncertain if we'll see it in his second year of development. He experienced a setback due to his injury last season. I'm excited to see how much progress he has made. Although I love his feet, I worry about Waletzko's playing strength and whether he can improve his stance and leverage.

What is the status of the offensive line? - Isaiah Wilson

It's unclear at the moment. We have some concerns about the left side of the offensive line. Is Tyron Smith going to avoid injury? Doubtful. What role will Tyler Smith have on the team? Is Terence Steele going to be prepared for week one? My belief is that he will. Zack Martin may not attend training camp because of his contract, according to whispers. Fans are about to start their yearly concerns about other people's money. Allow me to provide some additional context. The average of Chris Lindstrom and Quenton Nelson is $20M each, while Martin's is $14M. My prediction is that Dallas will take care of Zack Martin. Although his age worries me, I am not the person managing things in the front office.

What differences in the offense can we expect with Mike McCarthy taking the reigns of play calling? - TGordon Mayhall

I think the offense will prioritize ball control through quick passes and slant routes by the receivers and running backs. The result of this will be coverage mismatches and open space for the backs and receivers to make long runs. Make sure to keep an eye on the fullback position as well. In the west coast offense, the fullback plays a highly important role.

Which position do you think will go short to allow them to go long at another position? - Karen Mitchell

If I had to guess, I'd say linebacker. Because of the hybrid role played by Donovan Wilson and Jayron Kearse in the defense, Dallas might keep four. Their size is just enough to manage the run and offer better coverage ability than old-school linebackers.

Will Pollard be able to shoulder the load? And what kind of season do you see him having statistically? - Willie D. Washington

Last season, Elliott had 231 carries. Pollard had 193 carries. If my calculations are correct, Pollard’s carries will increase to 240, equivalent to 15 carries in each of the 16 games. Pollard may see a slight increase of three additional carries per game, or perhaps those carries will be in the form of touches in the passing game.

188 carries are yet to be considered. Who is likely to get the bulk of the carries behind Tony Pollard? The question that needs more immediate attention is that. Pollard is likely to achieve over 1200 rushing yards, double-digit rushing TDs, 300 receiving yards, and 6 receiving TDs. Quite similar to what Jamal Charles did in 2013.

Will Asim Richards have a season at LG like TS had at LT? - Bryon Powel

At this point in their development, Asim Richards is further along than Steele was. In my opinion, he has a better coach. I have a strong feeling that he will play at LG due to my doubts about Tyron Smith's health. History suggests Smith won't play an entire season, though I hope I'm incorrect.
Plus Richards would be playing beside better players too. The whole offensive line was a disaster in 2020, except for Zach Martin.

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