The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of three straight 8-8 seasons. With a tough schedule on the horizon for 2014, lets take a look at some Cowboys who must step up.
1) Morris Claiborne: Words like bust and injury prone have been thrown around when it comes to describing Claiborne lately. The Cowboys traded up to get Claiborne back in the 2012 NFL Draft but so far its been a bumpy ride for the former 1st rounder. He’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistent play on the field. He hasn’t been that ball hawking playmaker like he was at LSU. So far during training camp he’s practiced with a renewed energy and intensity. Just when things were going right for Claiborne he sprained his shoulder and hasn’t played in the Preseason. Claiborne only has two interceptions in two NFL Seasons with the Cowboys. He still has time to change doubters minds about himself but he needs to start making plays for the Dallas Secondary.
2) Rolando McClain: The Cowboys traded for McClain earlier this summer for a late round pick in 2015 Draft from Baltimore. This move was meet with skepticism from fans and media since McClain has already retired twice. The Cowboys have a jumbled situation going on at linebacker right now and there hoping that McClain can get back some of his former 1st round status back in 2010. McClain has had an up and down Preseason, he does flash the potential at times that made him a 1st rd pick in the past. It’s been rough for him to get back into game shape since hasn’t played consistent football in over 20 months. If I were the Cowboys I’d start McClain at linebacker and see if he can regain the attitude and swagger he once played with.
3) Henry Melton: The Cowboys signed Melton as a free agent this past spring when they decided to let Jason Hatcher go in Free Agency. The allure of playing for former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and playing back home in the Dallas area led Melton to ink a deal with the Cowboys. Melton is coming off a season where he tore his ACL in only his third game of action. The season prior to lasts, Melton made the Prow Bowl and was a disruptive force with six sacks. Melton hasn’t played at all during the Preseason thanks to a groin injury but should be a full go when the regular season starts on September 7th against the 49ers. The Cowboys really need Melton to be menace at that 3 technique position which Rod Marinelli covets. The Cowboys also need Melton to be an anchor on there defensive front when the lights come on.