The Cowboys feel like they significantly upgraded their team over the past three days. Others disagree, but the ‘Boys will indeed seek meaningful contributions from many of their rookies.
Center Travis Frederick will probably be the only starter, but tight end Gavin Escobar, wide receiver Terrance Williams, running back Joseph Randle and perhaps even safety J.J Wilcox will see the field often.
As it stands right now, here are the 2013 Dallas Cowboys. Click on the rookie links for analysis.
Analysis: The Cowboys didn’t add a rookie quarterback in the draft as expected after Romo signed his big extension. The ‘Boys could very well add an undrafted free-agent passer.
Analysis: Randle will immediately step in as the No. 2 running back behind Murray. I projected him for 107 carries, 503 yards and 30 receptions in 2013.
Analysis: Williams will be the Cowboys’ No. 3 receiver, lining up outside in three-receiver sets with Austin moving into the slot. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys keep six receivers. If so, I think Harris, Beasley and Armstrong will be the last three guys chosen.
Analysis: The Cowboys want to use a lot more two-receiver sets, so Escobar could contribute right out of the gate. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys use Hanna, if it all. It isn’t like the team will consistently line up in three-tight end sets.
Analysis: The ‘Boys say they’ll use Frederick at center, but I think he should play guard so that Costa can stay in the starting lineup, replacing Bernadeau. As it stands right now, it looks like Cook will be gone.
Analysis: This is now the weakest position on the team. In my mind, there’s no doubt that the Cowboys are going to sign a free-agent right tackle. There’s no way that Doug Free will start a game for Dallas this season; I’d expect them to even play Parnell ahead of him.
Analysis: Surprisingly, the Cowboys didn’t upgrade the defensive tackle position. Ratliff and Hatcher will start in 2013, rotating with Crawford and Lissemore.
Analysis: Quietly, the defensive end position is scary thin. If Ware or Spencer go down, the Cowboys will be in trouble. That’s one reason I thought the team should keep Victor Butler. You could also put Crawford here, as he’d likely move to end in the event of an injury. Alex Albright could also be a candidate to play end.
Analysis: I expect Sims to win the job at the "Sam," joining Lee and Carter in the starting lineup. Holloman has a battle on his hands to even make the final 53-man roster.
Analysis: Wilcox will start at the bottom of the depth chart, but I expect him to be in the mix to win a starting job. His inexperience at the position means we might need to wait until 2014 to see him on a regular basis, though.
Analysis: Carr and Claiborne will be your starters for the foreseeable future. Scandrick will keep his nickel job for now, but I think that’s a spot that rookie B.W. Webb could win down the road. Moore has cornerback/safety versatility, but that might not be as valuable with the safety depth.
Analysis: Jones is the only player here in danger of being replaced.