By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on April 28, 2014
This slideshow is only on players, but there could very well be an argument for Jason Garrett being in the midst of a make-or-break year in 2014. The Dallas Cowboys have now gone 8-8 in three consecutive seasons, and that narrative needs to change. Here are five Cowboys facing make-or-break seasons in 2014.
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It was reported the other day that Anthony Spencer and the Cowboys agreed on a one-year deal. This was a smart deal as it won't cost the Cowboys a lot and Spencer will have a year to prove he is worthy of a long-term deal. In a contract year in 2012, Spencer had the best season of his career. Facing a one-year deal again, it will be up to Spencer to prove his worth to the Cowboys' brass.
Before he suffered a concussion in the beginning of the season, J.J. Wilcox was having a strong season in Dallas. After losing his starting job to Jeff Heath in the second half of the season, many Cowboys fans want the team to draft a new free safety. To me, it's not fair to judge Wilcox. He didn't complete training camp last year because he went back to Georgia to visit his mother. Regardless, Wilcox will have some pressure on him in 2014.
In his two seasons with the Cowboys, Matt Johnson has played a total of two quarters. Those two quarters were in a preseason game. Coach Garrett loved Johnson's ability to create takeaways at Eastern Washington, but he has failed to stay healthy in his NFL career. Before cutting him, the Cowboys have to see what they will get out of Johnson. He needs to stay healthy in 2014.
After switching to the 4-3 Tampa Two defense, many thought Bruce Carter was in line for a breakout season. The weak side linebacker position is important in the 4-3 because the player playing the position must be instinctive and athletic. Carter is one of the most athletic linebackers in the NFL, and this position seemed like the perfect fit for him. Unfortunately, he regressed in 2013. Carter needs to improve from last year's debacle.
After trading up and giving up a second-round pick in the process, the Cowboys haven't gotten much out out 2012 first-round pick Morris Claiborne. The LSU standout was thought to be the next Darrelle Revis as he possessed the rare combination of technique and ball skills. Sadly, Claiborne hasn't panned out so far in his short NFL career and many have already called him a bust. 2014 will likely be Claiborne's last season to prove himself.
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