The list of Dallas Cowboys players who are relative unknowns going into the 2014 season is pretty long. A key reason for this is because of injuries from the past, but now they are a healthy team (knock on wood, as they’ve already lost Sean Lee). With all of the past injuries and young players, which players can be considered as the most intriguing on this defense?
Well, for starters, you have to talk about Matt Johnson. Johnson is an intriguing option at the safety position, but he’s a guy who was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, and has dealt with injuries that have sidelined him throughout his first two seasons in the league. He’s dealt with hamstring, back and foot injuries, and no one has any idea what we can expect from this guy.
The upside is there, as he had 17 interceptions in four seasons, but we’ll have to wait and see what he can do at the next level.
Another name that I’ve mentioned before is DeVonte Holloman, and the 23 year old has some incredible upside if he can live up to it. He may be the guy who replaces Lee, and he has the potential to be an impact player in the NFL. He only played in nine games last season, but I think that after a few games in his second season, if he gets the playing time, the fans may really jump on board with him.
Demarcus Lawrence has to fall into this category as well. The rookie second-round pick has so much potential, and showed some incredible abilities at Boise State. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Lawrence play a ton this season, and for the Cowboys to literally just let him have his run at the quarterback often and attempt to just wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
If he can come onto the scene and get Cowboys’ fans excited, then he’ll have done his job, especially after the Boys lost DeMarcus Ware this offseason.
Two other players I’m going to name include J.J. Wilcox and Henry Melton. Wilcox played in 13 games in his rookie season, but it was reported that he seemed like a different player after his mother passed away, which is obviously completely understandable. Wilcox comes into this season as the projected starting safety, and everyone is excited to see what he can do.
Melton, on the other hand, was the main free agent signing for the Cowboys, and I think he’s going to be big for them. He’s a name that we all know, but after missing last season with a torn ACL, no one knows what to expect. Melton will play with a chip on his shoulder, and may be one of the biggest additions to this defense in 2014.