The Dallas Cowboys have some very heated competition for several starting jobs on the roster. It's been some time since younger players were expected to play as large of a role in a given training camp.
For now, gone are the days when the incumbent veteran starters were simply expected to stay healthy and survive camp while youngsters were essentially used to determine depth. This year, there could be several rookies and second-year players who could very well unseat a previously proven commodity.
The NFL has always been a young man's game. In other words, there has never been much of a market for players nearing 35 years old. That hasn't been a rule but rather a commonly accepted fact.
Today, the NFL is relying more and more on players who are well shy of 25 years of age and probably more true rookies than ever before.
The Cowboys have not necessarily been among the model franchises in terms of utilizing youth. Not since the days of Jimmy Johnson in the early 1990s has such a philosophy been the rule.
But with a new defensive coordinator and a head coach who is on the hot seat, despite what owner and general manager Jerry Jones has stated recently, the Cowboys have to get younger, faster and cheaper.
Here's a look at five battles taking place in Oxnard, Calif. The winners predicted here may not actually come out on top—but they should. I'm also throwing in one competition that may only exist in theory, but it's something to consider.