The pressure doesn’t get much higher for the Dallas Cowboys this 2014 NFL season. Here are some bold predictions about what will happen.
Gavin Escobar out produces Jason Witten on offense
Jason Witten has dominated the Dallas scene at tight end for years. He’s one of the best of the last decade, and he’s also 32-years old with a lot of wear and tear on his body. Meanwhile second-year man Gavin Escobar provided a small sample size of his skill as a pass catcher last season. With another year in the system he is poised for a breakout year, similar to what Alshon Jeffery did in Chicago. If he gets started right in training camp and the preseason, expect the San Diego State product to surpass his veteran mentor Witten in every stat category.
Henry Melton and Demarcus Lawrence won’t help run defense
Pass rush reigns supreme in terms of importance for every NFL defense. That is why the Dallas Cowboys signed Henry Melton in free agency and then traded up to draft Demarcus Lawrence in the 2nd round. Melton was a Pro Bowl interior pass rusher for Chicago in 2012 and Lawrence graded out as one of the most athletic and disruptive edge rushers in the 2014 draft class. However, despite their value to that end it’s really hard to see their value stopping the run. In fact there is a cause for concern with the entire defensive front. Out of the entire current roster, only two players for the Cowboys weight at least 300 lbs. Given the rushing attacks they’ll face in Washington and Philadelphia, it’s reasonable to wonder if they have the bodies to handle them. Here’s saying they won’t as Dallas finishes with a worse run defense than they had in 2013.
Tony Romo will throw 40 touchdown passes
At age 34 there is still no doubt from the Dallas Cowboys camp that Tony Romo is the man in charge at quarterback. Even Romo himself stated he feels he can play another five years and is determined to make it through the 2014 NFL season completely healthy. He should have some help to do that thanks to the addition of 1st round pick Zack Martin to the offensive line. With improving protection up front, Romo has a chance to utilize arguably one of the best receiving corps in the league. This he will do, surpassing his old mark of 36 touchdown passes in a season and breaching the 40 mark on his way to a fourth Pro Bowl.