By Jesus Flores @DFWSportsFlo on July 26, 2014
One of the best reasons to keep up with training camp, in my opinion, is the position battles.
This year, thanks to some free agent additions and a bunch of rookies, the Dallas Cowboys have a few position battles worth keeping up with.
So, without further ado, here are my top five position battles for Cowboys training camp in 2014.
Zack Martin is penciled in as the Cowboys starting right guard, which means that Mackenzy Bernadeau might be assuming a backup role. That is, of course, if he doesn’t beat out Ronald Leary for the starting left guard job. Leary is currently nursing a sore hamstring, which he suffered during the conditioning test.
With Miles Austin out of the picture, the No. 3 receiver spot is wide open. The Cowboys drafted Devin Street, but have proven veteran receivers in Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris. There is talk that Dez Bryant will be used more in the slot, which might mean that whoever the No.3 receiver is, will have to be able to play on the outside.
Almost every position on the defensive side of the ball is up for grabs, but one position of interest to me is the battle for the 1-technique defensive tackle spot. Nick Hayden was one of the worst graded defensive tackles by Pro Football Focus, but looked faster and leaner on the first day of training camp. Terrell McClain and Ken Bishop, who looked good during minicamp and OTAs will be trying to unseat him.
J.J. Wilcox is penciled in as the starter, but Jakar Hamilton has vastly improved according to the Cowboys website. There’s also the enigma that is Matt Johnson, who when healthy, could very well be the most athletic defensive back that the Cowboys have on the roster.
It’s no surprise that the battle for middle linebacker is No.1 on my list. With Sean Lee out of the picture due to injury, the Cowboys need all the help they can get at middle linebacker. Unfortunately, Rolando McClain is facing an 18-day jail sentence, Justin Durant looks more comfortable playing outside linebacker and Anthony Hitchens is a rookie. Who knows, maybe someone else steps up and fills the void that Lee left behind.
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