Dallas, TX – We have entered the dreaded dead-month, the twilight zone, an epic month of nothingness until Training Camp. With all that nothing going on, it leaves us writers with nothing to write about as well. When that happens it forces us to come up with something creative to talk about.
Well today let’s talk about some of the Cowboys rookies that will be donning the star this season. At least the five rookies that could end up making a nice impact for the Cowboys this upcoming season.
5. Devin Street WR– The reason Street lands at number five is because we’re just not certain where he will be utilized. The Cowboys have a plethora of weapons to spread the ball around but still I believe Street will get his opportunities. His size and hands are good enough for the NFL, his speed and technique will needs some work. Nonetheless, Street could be a guy to go to much like Laurent Robinson was a few years ago. It’s ridiculous to think he’s going to have eleven touchdowns, but realistically speaking I think Street will find the end-zone a time or two. Just because of the sheer number of weapons Street will be down the list a bit. Realistically speaking I’ll go with 39 catches, 446 yards and 3 touchdowns.
4. Ben Gardner DE– I have a gut feeling that people will be talking about Gardner at the end of the year. He just looks the part and seems as though the game isn’t too big for him at the pro Level. I could see Gardner becoming a nice part of the rotation in the middle of the year. He’s got the size and quickness paired with pretty good instincts. At Stanford he was a leader and I could see that trend continuing in Dallas for the young prospect. He looks like he could be helpful spelling on the left side. I see him having a decent game this season with a rookie year totaling 38 tackles, 3 TFL, and 2.5 sacks.
3. Davon Coleman DT– Coleman has been impressing these coaches lately and it most likely will continue into Training Camp. The Cowboys have quite a few guys that could wind up playing at the one-technique and Coleman could definitely fit in that category. Terrell McClain has been taking snaps at the three-tech because of Melton’s recovery but he most likely will try and snag the starting one-tech from Nick Hayden. If your playing the numbers game at home then that doesn’t leave too many spots open. The Cowboys could also look to Ken Bishop who they picked in the 7th round. I’m looking to this battle as an intriguing one for sure, but something tells me that Coleman makes his way to the roster and plays in a few games. Just because of the rotation he will have to impress with less snaps. He’s going to turn a head or two and finishes the year with 4 TFL and 3 sacks.
2. Zack Martin OG– This is a hard positions to judge because not a lot of numbers there to work with but the ones that count will show. This offensive line is looking quite beastly on paper and will most likely be one of the strongest in the league. Martin will be a solid starter for these Cowboys in his rookie campaign. I look for the running game to start to gel on the right side as well. Free is pretty athletic and plays a lot better with a good partner over there. Martin will help the right side improve to a 5.3 YPC average, Romo will be sacked 12 times less than a year prior and Martin will be a candidate for rookie of the year.
1. DeMarcus Lawrence DE– All signs point to Lawrence being another good Cowboys’ decision. They paid a hefty tag for him but he’ll be worth it. The Cowboys have to replace a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer in Ware, and though it won’t happen overnight; the Cowboys will feel good about Lawrence’s future. Lawrence will start at RDE sooner rather than later and because Mincey has been nursing himself back to health, Lawrence will begin at RDE in camp and not let up. The coaches and spectators have made many positive comments about Lawrence, it helps that he’s been battling Pro-Bowler Tyron Smith everyday in practice. The only way to be the best is go against the best. Ric Flair once said “To be the man, you gotta beat the man”! I think Lawrence ends the year with 8 sacks and 6TFL which entrenches him as the guy in Dallas.
I could be crazy but I have some optimism in regards to this rookie class. The Cowboys did what they had to do to put themselves in a better position to rebuild the defense. It will most certainly take more time but the cap situation is getting better by the day. The Cowboys will have one of the better rookie classes in 2014 and production will be high.