NFL is business, and you have to give your best each and every season in order to stay on the team and in the league for a long time. However, some players have more to prove than others – guys that are in their contract year or they are returning from an injury. Most of the rookies and veterans that are under contract are safe, as well as 2018 restricted free agents. However, these five Cowboys players have a lot to prove next season.
5. James Hanna
Hanna was a valuable part of the Dallas Cowboys’ offense, but that has changed when he got seriously injured. Furthermore, Geoff Swaim’s development is on the right track, and if the team cuts Hanna this year, they could save $1.5 million. However, if they release him next year, they would save $2.75 million, so Hanna needs to step up.
Charles Tapper was drafted in 2016, but because he suffered an injury, he was unable to prove his worth. Many people still believe that he can do a lot to help the team win the Lombardi, but it is difficult to project anything because we haven’t seen Tapper play yet. There is no doubt that he can do a lot, but he will have to prove himself.
3. Jaylon Smith
Jaylon Smith is a young linebacker that draws a lot of attention, but will his knees allow him to play well for the Dallas Cowboys? We need to be patient with Smith and don’t expect a stellar performance from him every week. He took a lot of time to recover, and it will take some time for him to get used to playing every round without a fear of getting injured again.
DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence entered the league in 2014 and in order to draft him, the Cowboys gave up some draft capital. However, the young and talented player has missed 16 games due to injuries and a suspension. During that time, Taco Charlton has developed, and Lawrence’s role has been reduced, and he will have to fight for the new contract with the Dallas Cowboys since he is in his last year of his rookie deal.
1. Dak Prescott
The only reason why Dak Prescott is on this list is pressure. The whole world is watching. He set the bar high, and if he starts to be inconsistent, he will meet some heavy criticism. This is probably not going to happen, but you never know.