When it comes to 2022, the Dallas Cowboys are betting on the development of their young players and draft picks after an offseason full of loss. Key players like Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory are gone, thus rendering the elevation of others as a need.
Fortunately, despite the loss of so many quality players, the Cowboys have a lot of young talent still on the roster.
There are players that we know will give a good output and play well this season. Players like Micah Parsons, Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, Trevon Diggs and CeeDee Lamb are almost certain to put up great numbers in 2022.
But what about players that are betting more on potential? The players we expect to be big time contributors, but haven’t yet broken out.
The Dallas Cowboys have a number of players like this. Whether it’s starters feeling the pressure or who’re bouncing back, we should expect a bigger season from each of these men.
DT Neville Gallimore
Neville Gallimore missed the majority of the 2021 season after suffering a broken elbow in the preseason. In the short time he played, he had more sacks and almost as many pressures as he did playing 14 games his rookie season. Adjusted to a full 17-game schedule, he was on pace for five sacks and 10 pressures. All would have been among the best on the team.
Gallimore has claimed to be over 15 pounds heavier of solid muscle. With the emergence of second-year DT Osa Odighizuwa, the Cowboys could be looking to keep both on the field together. Together as full-time starters, with Gallimore playing more of the 1-technique nose tackle.
Gallimore shows ability to create pressure and has the athletic ability to make plays. Assuming his health isn’t a factor, seeing him as the nose tackle could turn into one of the best defensive tackle pairs at creating pressure on the QB. A bigger, stronger Gallimonster could spell bad news for opposing guards and centers.
DL Chauncey Golston
Speaking of adding weight, another Cowboys defensive lineman has put in the work to get bigger. Chauncey Golston is one of the team’s most versatile defensive lineman. With the ability to play both edge positions and inside at 3-technique. Now, he’s even bigger having gained an extra 20 pounds.
Golston goes into 2022 as one of the Cowboys best run defenders, often doing the dirty work that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. When he does show up, it’s often because of his impressive length and power.
Now that Golston is the size of an interior tackle with the abilities of an edge, don’t be surprised to see him more and more on the defensive rotation. Whether it’s inside or on the edges, or head up on offensive linemen, 59 is a number to remember this season.
C Tyler Biadasz
Pressure makes diamonds, and Tyler Biadasz is under pressure like Queen and David Bowie.
The Dallas Cowboys starting center is in the midst of an open battle against second year pro Matt Farniok, as well as undrafted players James Empey and Alec Lindstrom. Obviously the Cowboys believe in Biadasz enough to not use a high draft pick on the position, but have a lot of competition for him going into year three.
With the creation of this competition at center, if Biadasz leaves as the presumed winner, it is likely to leave a Ron Leary-type effect. Having overcome inconsistent play and an open competition to secure the spot. Biadasz had plenty of quality games in 2021, but now has a target on his back that should only reinvigorate him.
RT Terence Steele
La’el Collins is gone, and the Dallas Cowboys have invested a number of players to play tackle should (likely) Tyron Smith miss time. Terence Steele is going to be the unquestioned starter at right tackle.
When the Cowboys had to endure Collins’ suspension, Steele played his best ball of his career. Planted next to Zack Martin, who often helped in calling assignments, which allowed Steele to progress. Even though the constant re-shuffling of the offensive line in the second half of the season created inconsistencies in blocking, Steele showed enough from weeks 2-7 for the Cowboys to move on.
Now, there’s no one standing behind him, waiting to take his job. At least for this year. As Steele continues to improve his skills and get stronger, it likely means a return to form for the right side of the line.
RB Tony Pollard
Already considered to be the Dallas Cowboys most underappreciated player, Tony Pollard is gearing up for his biggest season yet. Starting running back Ezekiel Elliott is coming off the least carries of his career, while Pollard is coming off the most. While we should expect a heavy dose of both, Pollard is the team’s true multi-tooled assassin. Running, receiving, and returning kicks.
For his career, Pollard averages over five yards per carry and over seven yards per reception. He is going to see another uptick in carries and is also taking snaps in the slot as a receiver. Demonstrating how and why he’s the team’s most explosive play-maker.
Pollard totaled over 1,500 all-purpose yards in 2021, and could be up for over 2,000 in a contract year. The Dallas Cowboys own version of Darren Sproles. It was irresponsible of the Cowboys to pigeonhole their speed threat, while playing a hurt Elliott in 2021. Learning from their mistakes, we should see a better balance of both, and a true burst on the scene for number 20.
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