It has been a good off-season for the Dallas Cowboys. They ended getting three first round caliber players in the draft process, signed Greg Hardy to improve their pass rush, resigned their head coach, defensive coordinator, and offense play caller. They also resigned a number of their own players. The most notable was Dez Bryant. With most of the front office off-season done and training camp being a week away, football is getting closer and closer. Many players have put in some hard work this off-season with hopes of getter better this year. Who do you think will have that break out season this year?
It would be all too easy to mention a player like Joseph Randle to have an amazing season. Randle will most likely take over for DeMarco Murray and should rush for over 1,000 yards rushing this year. But what about players who will be playing in their same role? Which Cowboys will take that next step? The three names that come to mind for me are Cole Beasley, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence.
Cole Beasley is the slot receiver for the Cowboys. Last year, he racked up 420 yards receiving and scored four times. The more tape you see on Beasley, the more you see his upside. Beasley could easily get 800 yards this year. He runs great routes and seems to always be open. Beasley has the speed to turn short routes into long plays and the quickness to elude defenders. Pro Football Focus (PFF) noted that Cole forced an average of .77 missed tackles per catch last season. That is the best in the NFL amongst all wide receivers. The 5’8 baller from Little Elm might do big things for this Cowboys offense in 2015.
On defense, it is a toss-up between DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford. Crawford has been in the League since 2012, but only got three sacks to his credit. That number should change. Not only is he getting better, but he now has better people around him as well. DeMarcus Lawrence is in his second year in the League. Like Crawford, his alma mater is Boise State. He is both naturally and physically gifted. That is why the Cowboys traded up to get him. Sadly, a broken foot sidelined Lawrence for 9 weeks of the regular season. When he did get his shot, it took him some time to adjust and get his feet under him. It was apparent, however, the talent was there. He proved that once the Cowboys got into the playoffs. Lawrence had sacks in both the Detroit and Green Bay games and helped seal the deal against the Lions. Cowboys are hoping that he continues to develop and be the player that they know he could be. Lawrence had learned new pass moves and put on some weight in the off-season. His hard work can be seen. So many people are talking about unleashing the Kraken and the pass rushing prodigy Randy Gregory, but don’t forget about Tank Lawrence.