After months of counting down the Sundays till the NFL returns, football is finally back. The 2018 Dallas Cowboys step off of the practice field next Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers.
However, after an off-season full of releases, retirements, trade speculations and twitter rants, this has been one of the least boring preludes to any NFL season in recent memory. With one of the youngest lineups in the league set to take the field opening night against the Carolina Panthers, this team has much to prove before September 9 arrives. So here’s three players that can potentially ease some tension next Thursday.
WR Michael Gallup #13
Many predict Allen Hurns to emerge as the leading receiver for this group this year. But Hurns is already some what of a proven receiver, so Gallup could be in line for a lot work this preseason, starting with the 49ers.
Writers and reporters covering the team in Oxnard have been amazed by the maturity in his route running and the constant separation he creates against defensive backs. Quarterback Dak Prescott has reportedly developed a rapport with the Colorado receiver as well. With the Cowboys able to opt out of fellow wide receiver Terrance Williams’ contract after this year, Gallup has the potential to sneak his way into the top three receivers.\
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2018
TE Geoff Swaim #87
The tight end position has been a pressing topic since the retirement of Jason Witten. Coaches and fans alike had been spoiled by the complete player Witten became in his tenure here and it is beginning to show on the field. Swaim has not been able to completely distance himself from rookie Dalton Schultz and second-year player Blake Jarwin. But with Swaim’s three years of experience behind Witten he may be able to do enough in game to prevent the team from signing a veteran.
FS Xavier Woods #25
Earl Thomas has dominated Cowboys headlines from the moment he walked in their locker room and told Head Coach Jason Garrett to “come get me.” But the Cowboys have shown they have faith in second year pro Xavier Woods to showcase his talent.
The coaching staff has yet to sign any real competition to compete with Woods for the job. If Woods continues to improve from his underrated rookie campaign he may can save the Cowboys the resources it would take to bring in Thomas.
“I think he can be a permanent free safety,” vice president Stephen Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan. “He has things you can’t coach. He’s got the instinct to make plays on the ball like he did last year. We feel really good about Xavier having the skillset to be a permanent starting free safety.”
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