Dallas Cowboys Training Camp: 5 Battles Worth Watching
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Despite what Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says publicly, head coach Jason Garrett knows that another .500 season won’t cut it in Big-D.
The Cowboys are coming off of back-to-back 8-8 seasons and haven’t made the playoffs in three straight years. As you guys know, I am a firm believer that Garrett is in the process of creating something that the Cowboys haven’t been since the days of Jimmy Johnson; a winner. However, I’m not the one signing Garrett’s paycheck. So, if his boss decides it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
To have a winning team, however, you have to have players who want to excel. You have to have players that want to compete for you as a coach. Far too often, you see players that fall into a comfort zone and just go through the motions; the huge contracts being handed out don’t help. To keep players from falling into these comfort zones, it’s a good thing for coaches to bring in some competition.
The Cowboys are going through some scheme changes both offensively and defensively this year, and Garrett said everybody on the team is competing for their job.
“Ever since I've been in this league, as a player and as a coach, I think everybody, each and every day, is playing and coaching for their jobs," Garrett said. "That's the nature of this thing, and that's what makes the NFL great. You come here to work every day. Every day is important as a coach, as a player, and we're trying to get ourselves better each and every day so we can become the team we want to be."
When the Cowboys head to training camp in a few weeks, they will be looking to answer a lot of questions regarding their roster. So, let’s take a look at five battles worth watching while the Cowboys are at training camp.
James Hanna vs. Gavin Escobar
Hanna came on strong toward the end of the 2012 season, but the Cowboys went ahead and drafted Escobar in the second round of the Draft in 2013. The thought is that they will try to implement an offensive scheme known as the “12” personnel. In the “12” personnel, the offense comes out with two receivers, two tight ends and one running back, and depending on what formation the defense is in; determines how the offense attacks it.
Terrance Williams vs. Dwayne Harris vs. Cole Beasley
The battle for the No. 3 receiver spot will be one to keep a close eye on because we know the Cowboys didn’t draft Williams for him to ride the bench. Williams was a big play receiver in college and the Cowboys will be looking to incorporate that into their offense, however, there’s no denying that when Harris or Beasley touch the ball, special things can happen.
Matt Johnson vs. Will Allen
Somebody has to play opposite Barry Church; who, however, is yet to be determined. At this point, the competition is between Johnson and Allen, although J.J. Wilcox has shown some promise he’s not ready to be a starter. Johnson has impressed in OTAs and looks like the prospect the Cowboys thought they were getting, but Allen ran with the ones on defense.
Mackenzy Bernadeau vs. Ronald Leary
Leary has looked good according to sources within Valley Ranch and could legitimately give Bernadeau a run for the starting job. As you saw last season the Cowboys’ offensive line was a trash can fire, I’d gladly welcome a change at either guard position.
Jermey Parnell vs. Doug Free
This will probably be the most watched battle throughout training camp, in my opinion. Free and Parnell began splitting snaps last season due to Free’s struggles. Parnell seems to be ready for an increased role; I wouldn’t doubt that he could supplant Free as the starting right tackle before training camp ends.