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Broaddus: Five Guys You Might Have Forgotten About
Weems is now in his second full season with the club and was inactive in all 16 games in 2013. He has been getting extensive work with the scout team on a weekly basis and from all indications, he was making steady progress. The club is hopeful that Weems can take the same path that Ronald Leary did to become the starter at left guard. With Weems, the biggest question was his ability to develop strength because the athletic ability was always there. Blessed with outstanding footwork and quickness, he truly looked the part. He has taken snaps at tackle but has also lined up at guard as well. He’ll be battling Jermey Parnell, who is also in that crossroads of his career with the club, for that swing tackle spot. Weems has the ability to send Parnell packing if they decide to go short at offensive line.
There have been plenty of questions about the safety position and who will play opposite Barry Church this fall when the Cowboys line up against the 49ers. The last time we saw Hamilton in game action where he was playing safety was against the Lions last October. To be honest, Hamilton wasn’t ready to play and despite his shortcomings that day, he did manage three tackles. The biggest issue that Hamilton has had to deal with is lack of experience, but he should get plenty of opportunities to gain that in this upcoming training camp. Like many of his young teammates, he has worked his way along with the scout team. Those days were mainly spend working as a safety, but there were snaps where he got work on the outside as a corner and also filled in at slot. I have never had any questions about him physically but could he pick up things on the mental side. You have to remember that he did start his freshman year at Georgia on their defense. He is not a stiff by any means.
Martez Wilson was one of those players Pro Department added, not so much thinking about 2013 but more to an eye of 2014. If you look at his career, he has bounced from defensive end to linebacker, never really settling at one spot. In this scheme for the Cowboys, he will have a home as a right defensive end coming off the edge as a pass rusher. If you ask him, he would tell you that he feels more comfortable playing as a linebacker, but I really do like the fit at end – it’s a good spot for him. There is quickness to his game along with a nice feel of how to put pressure on the quarterback. He does have five sacks in his career and in his first game with the Cowboys, he had a pressure against the Raiders. Leon Lett will teach him better technique and he will develop more moves to help him get to the passer. Playing the run will never be his strength but as a wave player, he has a chance. Also noted, he has 22 career special teams tackles.
Benford has spent the last two seasons on the Cowboys’ practice squad while working on the scout team. What is interesting about Benford is that he was a favorite of Kyle Orton when it came to working against the defense and there were several practices where Benford made play after play. He has shown the ability to run solid routes and when having to deal with the physical side of the game, he has been more than up to the challenge. He is one of those receivers that can run all day and never slow down. He has the ability to make the easy catch, but when the chips are on the table, he can come up with the tough ones as well. As receivers have come and gone, he has been the one guy this front office and coaching staff has managed to hang onto. He will have to battle several young kids for a potential spot on this roster, but he does have the experience of what it takes to deal with training camp and a long season. If he doesn’t make it here, he will get other opportunities in my mind.
Was signed in the offseason by the Cowboys Pro Personnel department after spending time with the Arizona Cardinals the last two seasons, playing in four games. What is interesting about Byrd is he has impressive size and dependable hands for a receiver. He is not afraid to carry his route inside and is more than a willing blocker at the point of attack. He has lined up on the outside and the slot as well. There is nice toughness to his game on special teams and he is comfortable in any role he has to play when called on. Might be hard to cut if he can show those core traits he did at Arizona.