3 potential breakout players for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 NFL season
The Dallas Cowboys were one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams in 2019, going just 8-8 and missing the playoffs in spite of entering the season with Super Bowl aspirations.
But the Cowboys are starting fresh heading into 2020, having let go of head coach Jason Garrett in favor of the more seasoned Mike McCarthy.
Will that be enough to fix Dallas? It remains to be seen, but there are definitely some potential breakout candidates on the roster to help the Cowboys improve.
Here are three names to watch for next season:
3. Xavier Woods, Safety
There are a lot of good, young safeties in the league, and Xavier Woods is one of them.
No, he isn’t elite, but he is a solid ball hawk who can make game-changing plays every now and then. He isn’t the best tackler, but he gets the job done.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind here: first of all, the Cowboys now have a new defensive coordinator in Mike Nolan, whose philosophy of attempting to force turnovers should greatly benefit Woods.
Second, Woods is entering a contract year, so this seems like the perfect time for the 24-year-old to bust out.
In 2019, Woods totaled 77 tackles, a couple of interceptions, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. With Nolan at the helm and a possible pay day on the horizon, Woods could end up having a big year in 2020.
2. Chidobe Awuzie, Cornerback
Chidobe Awuzie is a bit different from Woods in that while Woods looks to make plays on the ball, Awuzie is more of a defensive back who employs tight coverage but doesn’t really come up with takeaways.
That isn’t exactly what Nolan likes, but at the very least, Awuzie can lock guys down on occasion.
But like Woods, Awuzie is entering the final year of his current deal, so he certainly has motivation to go out and perform at a very high level.
A former second-round pick of Dallas in 2017, Awuzie will take center stage as the club’s No. 1 cornerback this coming season thanks to the departure of Byron Jones.
While that adds more pressure on Awuzie, it also puts him in the spotlight more, so if he plays well, everyone will take notice.
1. Blake Jarwin, Tight End
Everyone talks about the Cowboys being loaded at wide receiver with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and incoming rookie CeeDee Lamb, and rightfully so. That is an incredibly talented group.
But because of that, people are overlooking Blake Jarwin.
Jarwin did not really get a chance to shine in 2019 because of the presence of Jason Witten. But he still managed to register 31 catches for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
With Witten gone, Jarwin will now become the club’s No. 1 tight end. And while Cooper, Gallup and Lamb are sure to soak up a lot of targets, don’t think for a second that Jarwin won’t be a huge part of the offense.
The 25-year-old—who is in his third season—could serve as a security blanket for Dak Prescott over the middle while also representing a fine red zone target thanks to his 6-foot-5, 260-pound frame.