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NFL Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: 5 Little-Known Players Who Must Bring Their “A” Game in 2014

5 Unheralded Dallas Cowboys Who Must Step Up in 2014

5 Unheralded Dallas Cowboys Who Must Step Up in 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.

Gavin Escobar

Gavin Escobar catches a touchdown

Gavin Escobar

Gavin Escobar catches a touchdown

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.

J.J. Wilcox

J.J. Wilcox misses tackle on Julius Thomas

J.J. Wilcox

J.J. Wilcox misses tackle on Julius Thomas

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.

Ronald Leary

Ronald Leary stops Jay Ratliff

Ronald Leary

Ronald Leary stops Jay Ratliff

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.

Tyrone Crawford

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford

Tyrone Crawford

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford

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.

Bruce Carter

Bruce Carter misses a tackle on Pierre Thomas

Bruce Carter

Bruce Carter misses a tackle on Pierre Thomas

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.