Just a few days ago Kristi Scales, the sideline reporter for the Dallas Cowboys radio network, had a live chat and she gave some rather interesting answers about our favorite team. This time we bring you some interesting highlights of that interview.
The first question was regarding her impressions on the Ronnie Hillman and her answer was that it was too early to even have a first impression but as Kristi said “he’s going to get plenty of plays in preseason”. Next question was regarding Dez and his performance this year. The interviewer also asked if Dez’s numbers don’t pick up this year will the team consider letting him go and Kristi responded “No, Dez is a Cowboy for the long haul. Not just because of his skill set, but also contractually. His “dead cap” number in 2017 is $25 million. If he were released in 2018, the dead cap hit would be $8m. That number goes down dramatically in 2019 to $4m”. The discussion than turned to Jonathan Cooper and the inquiry about his possibility to start as from Week 1 and Kristi confirmed that. Apparently because “Chaz Green can’t stay healthy”, Cooper is currently in the lead to take the place as a starting LG instead of Ron Leary.
But besides this we promised you five names that will surprise you and make the 53-man roster and we always deliver on our promises. As you know each summer there are unknown players that emerge during camp and preseason games to make the squad. Although there has been only one week of 2017 Cowboys Camp but there are already several players that made strong impressions and here they are:
#1 – DL – Lewis Neal
Lewis is a rookie from LSU and he is kinda undersized (6′ 0″) and underweighted (only 261 lbs) for this position but hey there is a good side to him – he’s hard to move off the ball. Thanks to that fact he is definitely going to get a lot of playing time in preseason. Neal is basically just like former Cowboys defensive tackle named John Nix – he was also hard to move off the ball which is why he got the nickname “trash can full of dirt”.
#2 – OT – Kadeem Edwards
Edwards has been great during the first week of camp and he actually has a great shot at playing the “swing tackle” in 2017 which is a very important position since Cowboys have only 7 o-linemen “active” on the game day 46-man roster. Thanks to injuries and health issues that hit the team Edwards actually has a lot of chance to get a whole bunch of preseason reps/snaps and secure the position heading into the regular season.
#3 – CB – Marquez White
We know that Marquez is actually a draft pick but he was severely overshadowed since that draft pick by his fellow defensive backs (2nd round CB Chidobe Awuzie, 3rd round CB Jourdan Lewis, and 6th round safety Xavier Woods) who were picked ahead of him. Marquez had an awesome first week but since the defensive backfield is swarmed with talented newcomers he will have to make plays on the ball as well, in order to stand out.
#4 – RB – Rod Smith
Rod smith, to most Cowboys fans known as Jaylon’s older brother, is actually a player who has a lot of chance to beat Alfred Morris for the 3rd spot on the running back depth chart. Rod played the first 7 games of the 2016 season and recorded 4 special teams tackles and after that he spent the rest of season in the Cowboys practice squad. The main feature of Smith is the fact that he plays special teams and Morris does not, which is why he is working first-team special teams during practices at training camp.
#5 – LB – John Lotulelei
Lotulelei is currently working the second-team OLB and has a real chance to take the position that Andrew Gachkar and Mark Nzeocha held the past couple of seasons – special teams contributor, backup LB. His chance increase even more thanks to the fact that Gachkar was not re-signed, and Nzeocha always seems to battle injuries, plus the coaches like his coverage skills, and the fact that he can hit.