In previous years, preseason football was mainly a formality for the starters as the focus shifted to those young pups trying to make the team. The Dallas Cowboys as we traditionally watched the starters play just a handful of snaps in August. Now that Dallas boasts a much younger roster than it has in several years, that tradition might change a bit going forward.
Now obviously guys like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee will abide by the veterans rest rule, but some other starters might need to play all of preseason to get reps under their belt or just even make the team. Here are 3 Dallas Cowboys veterans that need to play in all of the preseason.
Watch Jaylon Smith cover Cole Beasley deep: pic.twitter.com/Dw7wbjtQPA
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) August 5, 2018
One of the best stories in football keeps getting better as linebacker Jaylon Smith makes his way back from a gruesome knee injury that many feared would cost him his playing career. Regardless, the Cowboys had faith he could return to his old-self and Smith did as well. So far it looks like the gamble paid off as Smith has looked impressive in camp early on. His speed seems to be back and he looks like he can make lateral moves with ease. The problem is that we are seeing these things in practice and not in a real game. These preseason snaps will help coaches determine if he can handle the stress of starting a game and staying out there without dealing with any issues with his knee. This is an important month for Smith and his long-term future. So play the kid Coach.
Xavier Woods wins vs. Geoff Swaim: pic.twitter.com/Gd2TG5QxZh
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) July 31, 2018
One of the more intriguing position groups coming into camp this season is the safeties. Guys like Kavon Frazier and Xavier Woods have made strides last season making big plays at crucial times. Yet there were growing pains at times as well, which is normal for young players. Aside from Jeff Heath, practically all the safeties need to get major playing time throughout the preseason to gain more experience. Frazier and Woods need to at least play in the first three games and get more than normal playing time to help them develop better. They will need because this team is going to need them to step up immediately.
Of all the position groups in camp that really needs more time to develop and get more playing time are the receivers. Since the team released All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant in the off-season, the Cowboys have tried to replace him but with questioned results. So far in camp, the offense looks out of sorts. Veterans and newcomers will need to have equal time in the preseason to show off because right now it seems like anyone of them can either make it or be cut. This is the one group that needs more playing time than usual to make sure the offense is fined tuned by the time the regular season starts.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, one standout name so far this training camp is the newly acquired Tavon Austin, who has been turning heads throughout camp. He believes this is the best training camp he has had in his six seasons in the NFL. With plays like these, it’s hard to deny that claim.
Best play of training camp: Tavon Austin pic.twitter.com/SOP8Trdvlp
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 6, 2018
Regardless of who plays or not, this preseason will be intriguing and fun to watch as fierce completion will take over this team.
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