With OTA’s beginning in just two weeks the Dallas Cowboys will have more than enough competition going into OTA’s but more importantly Training-Camp. With all the draft picks, undrafted free agents, and signings they made during free agency the Cowboys brought in a ton of new faces to add to their defense and also a few offensive players to add to the mix. Today I will take a look at some of the more important position battles the Cowboys will have going into the start of their off-season program.
Lucky Whitehead vs Ryan Switzer
There is no secret whose job was in jeopardy when the Cowboys selected Ryan Switzer in the 4th round with the 133rd overall pick. Both Switzer and Whitehead are looking to battle for the primary returner position and one of the final wide receiver spots on the rather crowded depth chart. Switzer and Whitehead don’t have a lot in common other than their body type. Switzer stands at 5’8″ tall and weighs in at 181 lbs while Lucky Whitehead stands just an inch taller at 5’9″ tall and weighs 180 lbs. Both of these guys have a return capability but to me Ryan Switzer is the more dominant player in that aspect. Switzer offers an elite level of play as a returner and brings more to the table as receiver than Whitehead has shown. If you follow my work you have noticed that I make sure to point out Ryan Switzer’s route running ability, along with his ability to get open in all levels of the field, along with that he is a former running back and has a good feel for jet sweeps and could catch the ball out of the backfield in some scenarios.
The Victor: Ryan Switzer
Byron Bell vs Chaz Green vs La’el Collins
In this battle none of the losers would be axed from the team, but simply fill as a back up or swing player along the line (excluding La’el Collins). La’el Collins will start somewhere along the offensive line. Whether it’s at left guard or right tackle barring injury Collins will be lining up across from a New York Giant come September 10th. The battle he’s involved in is more so of how much better of a right tackle is he than Bell or Green. If he is exceptionally better than the Cowboy’s won’t hesitate to start him at tackle and let Jonathan Cooper slide in at left guard. If there isn’t a huge drop off from Collins to Bell or Green than I can see them letting free agent signing Byron Bell or third year player Chaz Green man the position. The real battle will come between Chaz Green and Byron Bell for a starting spot. Bell has plenty of experience at the position and has the best resume as well starting 72 of his 78 eligible games. Green has had plenty of opportunities to play in pre season and even some in the regular season and played very well in the times he was on the field, but that is his problem. Green can’t stay healthy and has proven that he is as close to as injury prone as you can get. This will be an interesting battle that may not be decided until we get closer to the start of the season.
The Victor: La’el Collins wins the starting Right Tackle job, Jonathan Cooper starts at Left Guard.
Xavier Woods vs Kavon Frazier
Two former sixth round picks in a good ole fashion slobber knocker. After watching Xavier Woods slide down draft boards all the way into the sixth round the Jones’s got on the phone and executed a trade to move into the sixth round and grab a guy they were a big fan of. Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier both don’t mind lowing their shoulder and laying the boom and both do a hell of a job of doing just that. Woods had great turnover production in college and can do more in coverage than Frazier can from what I’ve seen. Both players would contribute on special teams and see rotational snaps early in the season. To me, Xavier has a much higher ceiling but both guys are really good football players. This is a battle I am looking forward to the most and neither guy will give up much ground without a fight.
The Victor: Xavier Woods, BUT Kavon Fraizer holds onto a roster spot as the teams fourth Safety.
Taco Charlton vs Demarcus Lawrence
The 2017 28th overall pick battling the 2014 34th overall pick. After multiple back surgeries and just one season with real production Demarcus Lawrence finally has some real competition. Demarcus meet Taco. Taco meet Demarcus. IF and that’s a big if, Demarcus Lawrence is healthy and a full go by training camp I don’t see him handing over his starting spot easily. He may even practice/play good enough to force the coaches to find a starting spot for both guys. Really I feel like it’s up to Taco Charlton to win a starting job. If you followed any of my NFL Draft work prior to the draft you would have noticed I wasn’t a huge fan of Charlton and I thought that it was a big reach for him to be the pick at 28, but he’s here now and he needs to come in and prove me and everyone who doubted him wrong. Both Charlton and Lawrence have the ability to play either left end or right end in Dallas’s scheme, I personally see them both as left ends. This battle will also be a big one for the Dallas Cowboys defense.
The Victor: Taco Charlton wins the Right End position and Lawrence will start the season as a rotational player.
These are just some of the few, but some of my favorite battles the Dallas Cowboys will have entering Training Camp. There is no doubt about it that the Cowboys brought in plenty of talent this offseason but they must show up to play and must be ready to compete right away.
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