By Jesus Flores @/DFWSportsFlo on March 27, 2014
On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said that the Cowboys are trying to build their team based on the present and future, and not the past as evident by DeMarcus Ware’s release and Jason Hatcher’s departure via free agency.
However, for Garrett’s theory to be truly successful, the Cowboys will need their young guys to bring their A-game. So, lets take a look at five players who must step up in 2014.
It’s safe to say that Gavin Escobar has to be one of the players that steps his game up in 2014. I’m not saying he has to supplant Jason Witten as the starting tight end, but he certainly needs to be far more productive to validate the second round pick that was used to draft him.
After losing his job to an undrafted rookie free agent, former third round pick J.J. Wilcox must bring it in 2014. The Cowboys have had a need at safety for a long time, and Wilcox has all the tools you look for in a free safety. Here’s to him putting it all together.
Offensive guard Ronald Leary was by far the Cowboys weakest link along the offensive line, grading out at -9.4 according to PFF. In his first season as a starter he surrendered five sacks and allowed 27 quarterback hurries.
After finishing his rookie season with a respectable 2.5 overall grade from PFF as a 3-4 defensive end, many expected a lot out of Tyrone Crawford in 2013. However, due to a torn Achilles tendon, Crawford’s 2013 ended before it began. If the Cowboys are going to be successful in 2014, they’re going to need Crawford to step his game up.
After being expected to flourish in the 4-3 defense, Bruce Carter actually regressed. He finished the 2013 season with an overall grade of -9.8 and also graded out as one of the league’s worst against the run with a -14.9 overall grade. Needless to say, but Carter will have to step his game up.
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