The Cowboys will play their second preseason game tonight, and we’re expected to see more 1st team offensive players. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and DeMarco Murray will all suit up, and we’ll get our first glimpse of what they can do with our bolstered offensive line.
Throughout training camp, we pretty much know who the playmakers on offense will be. The offense will begin and end on the heels of that offensive line that is headlined by three first round picks: Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin.
One can argue that the offensive side of the ball has plenty of playmakers to tally up some yards and points come gameday. We all know about Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Jason Witten and the Offensive Line.
If Tony Romo and Dez Bryant tear up the league this year they could be in the league MVP conversation with the oddsmakers at MyTopSportsbooks.com putting Romo at +4500 and Bryant at +2500 for the award.
The question; however is, do the Cowboys have any defensive playmakers?
Sean Lee is the no-brainer, but his season ended before it began, when he blew out his knee in minicamp. Lee is the embodiment of a defensive playmaker, one who would force turnovers and tackle everything in front of him.
Last year, Jason Hatcher had a breakout season, and was a menace from the 3-tech DT position, but he jumped ship the the Washington Redskins. DeMarcus Ware was a playmaker for years, but he’s gone as well.
With the defensive line revamped, who is going to be the playmaker with all those players mentioned no longer with Dallas?
Newly acquired DT, Henry Melton is still recovering from his ACL, and nursing a groin strain, so he may start the season well below 100%.
Can George Selvie continue to improve on his solid 2013 campaign, can he fill the pass rush void? Again, we are not sure, hopefully, but many see Selvie as a solid complimentary / rotational player.
DeMarcus Lawrence looked very promising before he broke his foot, so his services won’t be available for several more weeks, and we’re not certain how the rust and non-playing time will effect his game.
The secondary is a complete mess right now. We have all sorts of issues back there. Orlando Scandrick could be the playmaker the Cowboys need, but he’ll miss the first four games after popping on his drug test.
If we are being 100% honest with ourselves, we do not have any clear-cut defensive playmakers right now. Now, that’s not to say that someone could raise their game and become a factor.
We do have some players that have some playmaking ability.
I’m looking at Anthony Hitchens, as he has quietly been solid, and has been making plays in the preseason. If Hitchens puts in another solid game he could unseat Bruce Carter. Terrance Mitchell has the swagger, confidence, and physicality to his game that Morris Claiborne does not. If Mitchell keeps playing good ball, he could crack into the starting lineup in Scandrick’s absence.
Other defensive rookies, Ken Bishop and Davon Coleman could be pleasant surprise and definitely have the potential to be a force on the defensive line.
The Cowboys are in desperate need of some playmakers on defense, so its a matter of someone showing up during the preseason and taking that momentum into the regular season.