The Dallas Cowboys have had to deal with their fair share of headlines heading into the 2019 NFL season. All the storylines coming out of Dallas have mostly been fixed on the looming deals of their star trio on offense.
Although there will continue to be plenty of speculation regarding the future of quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Cowboys’ primary focus is ensuring that this team is ready to follow through on the hype they have generated this offseason. This begins with putting together the best quality roster possible with the players currently at their disposal.
Dallas came up short in their preseason debut against the San Francisco 49ers. Regardless, it did provide the team with a much better look at their depth heading into the regular season.
Here are three players to watch in their Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams in Hawaii.
3. Tony Pollard
Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones has not been shy about taking his digs at the situation surrounding Elliott. He effectively managed to put running back Tony Pollard at the forefront by suggesting how capable he was of potentially serving as the workhorse.
Pollard has made quite the impression throughout training camp and filled in as the starter in the preseason opener. His versatile skill set as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield make him an intriguing option for the Cowboys.
Elliott’s absence will continue to provide Dallas to get an ample look at the rookie. Even if the two-time rushing champ ends his hold out, Pollard could very well make his case to serve as a complementary option.
2. Cooper Rush
Aside from Elliott, Prescott’s potential deal has also been a topic of discussion in Dallas this offseason. Fortunately, the preseason provides them with an opportunity to get a better look at their depth behind him with quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Mike White.
Both players got ample opportunities to make things happen through the air, however, Rush was much more successful in his attempt. He completed 16-of-26 passes for 142 yards while putting the offense for nine points in the first half.
Meanwhile, White completed 9-of-20 passes for 87 yards while the Cowboys were shut out the entire second half. Rush may have put some distance between himself and White for the backup spot, however, their positions are hardly set in stone at this point in the offseason.
1. Dorance Armstrong
Dallas’ pass rush depth suffered another crucial blow with defensive end Robert Quinn slated to miss the first two games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancement policy. As a result, shoring up their quality backups has become a point of emphasis this offseason.
Fortunately, defensive end Dorance Armstrong has made his case to serve as a viable replacement. His performance during training camp has generated plenty of buzz and even earned the praise of Jones himself.
Armstrong appears to be poised to etch out an integral role for himself up front if he can take advantage of his opportunities in the preseason.