Love them or hate them, the Dallas Cowboys always seem to have a knack for uncovering some talent where nobody else was looking. Can their fans expect more of the same with the 2013 NFL season fast approaching?
Offense – Joseph Randle
Nobody can really understand what happened to the Dallas Cowboys running game in 2012. A year before DeMarco Murray was hailed as the next great back after exploding for 897 yards on just 164 carries, averaging 5.5 yards. Then through injuries and offensive line issues he fell off the map last season. That should open the door for Joseph Randle. The 5th round pick out of Oklahoma State comes in with a surprisingly wide skill set. His biggest strengths are as a pass catcher and goal line runner but his senior season helped prove his game has grown. He showed more power, shiftier feet and good vision to help him find lanes and get through them fast. Throw in the fact he is a willing blocker and getting stronger, it should ring plenty of warning bells for Murray that his job is not safe.
Defense – Justin Durant
He’s not a Pro Bowler or any kind of star, but the Cowboys are lucky to have Justin Durant for a very important reason. His familiarity with the defense they will play. Dallas plans to shift from their usual 3-4 scheme to the new 4-3 under coordinator Monte Kiffin. Durant spent his last six seasons in Jacksonville and Detroit playing that scheme. While not an overwhelming presence, he is a consistent tackler, racking up 103 last season for the Lions. His experience and steadiness will be a bigger help to the Cowboys than any scheme-specific player or coach they plug into the situation.
Special Teams – Dwayne Harris
It took awhile last season but the Dallas Cowboys continued their run of success at developing young wide receivers when Dwayne Harris got on the field. His first big break came when he stunned the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10 with a punt return touchdown. Harris went on to finish second overall in the league with 16.1 yards per return on the season. Fans hope to see more of the same as he gets a chance to go a full season not just returning but catching passes as well. If his production wasn’t a fluke then Dallas may have a key threat they will need to finally get over the 8-8 hump.