NFL Dallas Cowboys

5 Players Who Will Shine In Week 1 For Dallas Cowboys

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Week 1: 5 Players Who Will Shine For The Dallas Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs once again in 2012 as they finished the season at 8-8. Dallas has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but that talent has not translated in to enough wins in recent seasons. The Cowboys moved the ball well offensively last season, but costly mistakes did them in at times. Also, Dallas was towards the bottom in the league of every defensive statistic.

Most of the same players are back for 2013, but changes were made on the coaching staff. Jason Garrett returns as the head coach, but he may be on the hot seat because it is no secret that Jerry Jones is not happy with the recent performance of the team. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan also returns and will take over the play calling duties from Garrett.

The faces are mostly the same, but Dallas will look much different defensively this season. 73-year-old Monte Kiffin takes over at defensive coordinator for Rob Ryan. Kiffin uses a base 4-3 defense and will be transitioning the team from Ryan's 3-4. I think the 4-3 defense fits the Cowboys' personnel better. I expect an improved performance from the defense in 2013, but the transition will take time and there will surely be bumps in the road early in the season.

In Week 1, the Cowboys host the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. This is definitely one of the games that I am most looking forward to watching in the opening week of the season. I think both teams will struggle defensively and this will be a high-scoring affair. The Cowboys are a little undersized up front, and defensive end Anthony Spencer being banged up along with defensive tackle Jay Ratliff already being ruled out doesn't help either. I think the Cowboys will struggle to stop David Wilson and the New York running attack.

Offensively, I think the Cowboys will fare much better. The Giants' defensive backfield is a mess. They have injured players everywhere and I think the Cowboys will look to expose that weakness, and do so effectively.

This should be a fun game to watch on Sunday night. These two divisional rivals would love nothing more than to start each other's season off with a loss. I think this will be a close game that could go either way. Here are five Cowboys who will shine and try to help their team to victory.

Daniel is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Dez Bryant

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I think Dez Bryant is in for a monster 2013 season. Bryant has always had the talent and seemed to finally put it all together late last season, as he had 50 receptions for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns in Dallas' last eight games. I think that Bryant will continue his dominance this season and I see nobody on the Giants who can stop him.

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4. Morris Claiborne

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Morris Claiborne had a disappointing rookie season after the Cowboys traded up and drafted him with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. The talent is certainly there for Claiborne, and a player usually improves the most in his second season. Claiborne is too talented to not perform at a high level and will be a huge key for the Cowboys' defense on Sunday night. Claiborne will probably be matched up against both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Claiborne is talented enough to cover both of these guys, and it is time for him to prove it. I think he will.

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3. Tony Romo

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Get Tony Romo in your fantasy football lineups. The Cowboys' offensive line is banged up, so I think they will have a tough time running the ball. With the Giants' secondary being the obvious weak point on their defense, throwing the ball a ton is a no-brainer. I think Romo will have a ton of success getting the ball to all of his offensive weapons.

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2. Terrance Williams

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This one may be a little bit of a reach, but I really do think Terrance Williams has a good chance to be productive Sunday night. He seems to be the Cowboys' third WE behind Bryant and Miles Austin, and he performed very well in the pre-season. As I have said before, Romo will be throwing a lot and Williams should see the field plenty. I believe in the talent, and there will be a ton of balls to go around. I would not be surprised to see Williams produce in a big way for Dallas in Week 1.

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1. Jason Witten

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Jason Witten is Romo's security blanket. The Giants are still one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL, and the Cowboys are thin on the offensive line. I think Romo will be pressured at times on Sunday and Witten will be there to bail him out like he always is. Also, with the Giants' issues at the safety position, Witten should be able to work the seams.