By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on June 20, 2014
The Dallas Cowboys have had problems in the past few years, but 2014 looks to be the year where they get back in the playoffs. They must stay healthy, but the talent is there on both sides of the ball to finish with a 10-6 record. The Cowboys have had an interesting offseason by getting rid of their best pass rusher and signing new players in free agency. Here are five questions that must be answered.
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J.J. Wilcox looked really good in the beginning of his rookie season. After a concussion, however, Wilcox never looked the same. Despite drafting him in the third round last year, the Cowboys have had some competition at the free safety position with Ahmad Dixon and Matt Johnson vying for the spot. Whoever wins the battle needs to be ready because this position is extremely important.
DeMarco Murray is the starting running back; there's no question about that. But the Cowboys will need a a complementary back behind him, and that battle will likely come down to Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams. Both are small and shifty, but both are unproven. Dunbar had his moments last year, but he has had trouble staying healthy. Williams was a second-round pick a couple of years ago. This battle will be a good one.
Henry Melton will be the starting 3-technique defensive tackle for sure, but the position next to him is available for the taking. The battle will likely come down to Tyrone Crawford and Ken Bishop. This one will be a good one because both have been reportedly garnering a ton of attention in the offseason workouts.
Kyle Orton wants to retire, but the Cowboys want him back. To me, there are pros and cons for both views. Tony Romo's back is a big concern, so having Orton as a backup would be nice. But Dallas is paying Orton a lot of money, and the Cowboys should give the backup position to Brandon Weeden.
The Cowboys lost their captain in OTAs, and while it was a devastating blow, it also leaves an opening for a young player to shine and make his name known. It has been reported that Justin Durant has been taking snaps at the MIKE linebacker position, but the Cowboys could benefit more by giving DeVonte Holloman or Anthony Hitchens the starting job.
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