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Dallas Cowboys 2022 Training Camp Preview

Dallas Cowboys
(Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Dallas Cowboys 2022 Training Camp Preview

I can hear them now. Cowboys’ fans all over the globe are starting to warm up their voices to tell everyone they know that “this is their year!” However, in a division which saw Philadelphia get significantly better this offseason, Washington brought in a real quarterback and the Giants nail their two first-round picks, the path to the playoffs got a little more complicated. Listen, I’m not saying that this Dallas team doesn’t have talent because they certainly do. But if this team wants to make the playoffs in 2022, the work starts in training camp. Let’s get into the Dallas Cowboys 2022 training camp preview.

Three Position Battles to Watch

Center: Tyler Biadasz vs. Matt Farniok vs. Alec Lindstrom

From the start of 2021 to the end, there were clear improvements in Tyler Biadasz. The 24-year-old has started for the Cowboys at center for the past two seasons, so he is the most experienced out of this group. Matt Farniok does have a season under his belt, but if he has any chance to earn this starting job, he needs to show VAST improvements in his pass protection. The guy that is slept on in this situation is Alec Lindstrom. I was a big fan coming out of Boston College this offseason, and with a good camp, he just might surprise folks and steal this starting job.

LB Opposite Micah Parsons: Leighton Vander Esch vs. Jabril Cox

After his first season in the NFL, many were calling Leighton Vander Esch the future of the position for the Cowboys. 140 combined tackles and two INTs in his rookie year certainly garnered some hype around him. However, an expanding injuries list combined with less than stellar performance has dimmed some of that hype; so much so that last season, Jabril Cox was quickly earning more reps on defense, especially on passing downs. Cox was well on his way to becoming the full-time starter until a knee injury halfway through the season derailed that. With Cox healthy and Vander Esch on a one-year deal, who will start Week 1 opposite DROY Micah Parsons?

No. 3 WR on Depth Chart: James Washington vs. Jalen Tolbert

James Washington never really broke out as many expected him to in Pittsburgh. Whether it be an issue with the scheme or there just being talent in the room, Washington wasn’t a great fit. Now in Dallas, he has a chance to make a name for himself. With Amari Cooper gone, the battle to replace him is between him and rookie Jalen Tolbert. Tolbert, out of South Alabama, was drafted in the third round this year. Tolbert was a machine in college with good speed and very smooth running the route tree. The competition here will be fascinating to watch.

Breakout Player: Osa Odighizuwa

The start of last season was electric for Osa Odighizuwa. After an early season injury to Neville Gallimore, Osa filled his role fantastically … until he didn’t. The rookie felt the weight of an NFL season catch up with him quickly, losing steam faster and faster in games down the stretch. With a full NFL-style offseason under his belt (and hopefully a LOT of cardio), I think we can expect big things out of Osa in 2022 as he looks to make a name for himself.

Rookie to Watch: Jalen Tolbert, WR

For the reasons mentioned above, the clear rookie to watch on this Dallas Cowboys team during their training camp and for the 2022 NFL season is Tolbert. I believe Tolbert will do wonders in this offense and should carve out a role on this team fairly easily. With CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup on the roster, he will have great players to mentor him, and I expect to see at least 60 targets for Tolbert this season.

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