By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on June 1, 2014
While the Dallas Cowboys lost quality players like DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher over the offseason, changes were put into place to get this team back in the playoffs. Cleaning house may be an option after the season if they don't make the playoffs. Here are five starters who could struggle in 2014.
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Although Jason Witten will always be productive, his play is deteriorating in the running game and in the passing attack. With a young, promising player like Gavin Escobar behind him, Witten could see a lot of his usual plays taken by the second-year player. Witten has been on a decline over the past two years which is likely to continue going forward, despite what many Cowboys fans want to believe.
With Scott Linehan taking over as the new offensive coordinator, the ball will be spread around more evenly which will limit the amount of opportunities for Terrance Williams. In his rookie season, Williams exceeded expectations and ultimately beat out Miles Austin for the No. 2 receiver spot. Williams' production may falter a little bit with Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar getting bigger roles in the offense.
Rod Marinelli wants to have a rotation of defensive linemen instead of four starters playing each and every down. That being said, George Selvie will likely become a rotational defensive end. Last season Selvie had seven sacks, and the South Florida product finished the year with more sacks than DeMarcus Ware. Marinelli loves Selvie, but the rotation will limit his chances at getting near the double-digit sack area.
Orlando Scandrick took over Morris Claiborne's starting job last season with his great play. The reason why Scandrick will struggle in 2014 is because of his expectations. Cowboy fans will be expecting him to repeat his play from last year, but realistically, Scandrick isn't all that special. Sure he is a good player, but he cannot be relied upon to shut down another team's top receiver.
Anthony Spencer will be depended on big time in Dallas next season. The reason why is because without Ware, the Cowboys do not have a proven commodity at the defensive end position. The jury is still out on Spencer, but he has had success before in his career. Spencer is coming off reconstructive knee surgery, and he may even be on the PUP list to start the season.
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