Twitter is on fire after the Dallas Cowboys finished the preseason without a win. Sure, we know it is just preseason, and the goal is not to win but to evaluate and fine-tune. But one thing is blatantly obvious: there are some serious issues regarding the Cowboys’ depth
The Cowboys enter Week 1 of the regular season on the road against a tough Panthers squad. When we check the odds at leading sites like Odds Market, we see that the Cowboys are now 3-point underdogs (down from 2.5) in Carolina. But after seeing some of the depth issues rear their ugly head, could this number tilt a little more?
The Offensive Line
Eight turnovers and five sacks. We could leave it at that but let’s explore this a little deeper. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins are all injured. Smith and Martin at left tackle and right guard are both questionable, and Frederick’s status for Week 1 remains unclear. La’el Collins who is an anchor on this O-line is supposed to play in Week 1, but he can still be seen limping around at practice.
Let’s talk about who’s snapping the ball. Marcus Martin is on IR, so it leaves the third-stringer, Scott Daly who the coaches don’t trust enough to give the starting role, so that role will go to Joe Looney, who is Zack Martin’s reserve at right guard. This leaves third-stringer Dustin Stanton to step in and he’s also banged up.
The inexperience and confusion in the trenches were clear. The defense did a pretty good job despite a lack of safeties. Against the Cardinals, scores came from the offense collapsing and having to force the ball. The Cowboys are now digging at the very bottom of their barrel, and there is nowhere left to go if anyone goes down.
Questions in the Secondary
After Kavon Frazier left the game with a separated shoulder, Cowboys fans across the nation hung their heads. Another one bites the dust. According to the reports, Frazier is ‘OK,’ but he had offseason knee surgery and has been having it drained before each preseason game, playing with a ‘minor injury’ already. Is he on borrowed time? If so that leaves Jeff Heath to carry the majority of the load at strong safety if Frazier isn’t ready by Week 1. Jameill Showers is already on IR with a torn ACL. Kyle Queiro can help out in a pinch, but he is more of a situational linebacker than a safety and has zero NFL experience.
On the other safety side, it isn’t looking much better. Xavier Woods is hobbled by his hamstring and may not play in Week 1, Marqueston Huff is nursing a groin injury and is also questionable. So that leaves Tyree Robinson and Dominick Sanders who are rookies with no NFL experience. Jeron Johnson signed on with the Cowboys a few days ago so at least there is someone with some NFL experience under their belt and he has experience with the way Kris Richard runs things in the secondary. But he is new to the Cowboys, so he’ll be learning on the fly.
The Cowboys should proceed with caution headed into Week 1 while keeping in mind the long-term viability players in order to survive a grueling 17-week schedule.
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