Despite completing four weeks of OTAs and minicamp practices, several things remain unsettled for the Cowboys. When the team reports to training camp on July 28 in Oxnard, Calif., several questions still need answers.
The staff writers at DallasCowboys.com – Rob Phillips, David Helman, Nick Eatman and Bryan Broaddus – will attempt to answer these questions before the start of training camp.
Today, the staff continues the series by wondering who will emerge as the most outstanding player in training camp beginning next week:
4) Who Can Challenge Dez For Training Camp MVP?
Bryan Broaddus:Greg Hardy will likely miss the first four games of the season barring another appeal. But this will not keep him from participating in all of the training camp practices and preseason games. The fact that he will be going against Tyron Smith each day and most likely winning his share of the one-on-one battles will no doubt catch the attention of all those in attendance. What people are going to learn watching practice each day is how talented Hardy is as a pass rusher and the wide variety of moves he has. There will be times where you are in awe of his ability, and that is within the same lines of Bryant.
David Helman: I'm guessing the reduced suspension is going to energize and motivate Greg Hardy even more than he already was, and I expect to see his Pro Bowl talent shine through at camp. Maybe it won't be right away, because he's been out of the routine of football for quite a while, but it will happen. Hardy is the most talented pass rusher the Cowboys have had since they released DeMarcus Ware two springs ago. He's good enough to give Tyron Smith problems in drills, and he's versatile enough to move around the line and create mismatches elsewhere. Also keep in mind: He plays a position, much like Dez at wide receiver, where it's easy to stand out. It's easy to tell who's winning and who's losing when you're looking at pass rushers, and I expect Hardy's going to win a lot once he gets into the pads.[embeddedad0]
Rob Phillips: We know Dez is going to stand out. How about the guy going against Dez for at least part of practice each day? Orlando Scandrick is one of the most competitive guys on the team and I fully expect him to enter camp motivated with Pro Bowl aspirations, not to mention the responsibility that comes with a new contract and the longest veteran tenure on defense. Receivers/cornerbacks and pass rushers/blockers get the most attention in camp because you can see clear one-on-one winners. Scandrick has a knack for getting around the ball, and this upgraded pass rush will help. He'll draw arguably the toughest assignment in practice, and just making things interesting against a receiver of Bryant's caliber will earn him MVP points in my book.
Nick Eatman: This is a tough one, because ever since Dez showed up to camp in 2010, he's been the best player. Nobody brings as much passion and energy to practice every day, and therefore, nobody seems to be as talented to match. So this won't be easy for any player. For some reason, I think we're going to see really good things from the first-round pick Byron Jones. Even with the additions of Gregory and Collins, Jones is somewhat flying under the radar in his own draft class. But I think his superb athleticism will be put on display at camp and it'll have the fans excited about his future. It won't surprise me if he wins a few battles with Dez, which will certainly help his stock. So my pick will be Byron Jones to compete with Dez for Camp MVP.
#17 - Who Emerges As This Year's Surprise Camp Standout?
#16 - What Can We Expect From Morris Claiborne in 2015?
#15 - Which Cowboys Player Will Make His First Pro Bowl In 2015?
#14 - Which Position Will Be Toughest To Trim Down At Final Cut
#13 - Which Performance From 2014 Will Be The Hardest To Match?
#12 - How Should Cowboys Handle McClain's Suspension?
#11 - Which Cowboys Rookie Will Make The Biggest 2015 Impact?
#10 - Can The Cowboys' Defense Become Among NFL's Top 10 Units?
#9 - Which Veteran Needs A Strong Training Camp Performance?
#8 - Will Move To Outside LB Help Sean Lee's Durability?
#7 - Biggest Beneficiary Of Having Dez At Camp?
#6 - Prediction At Left Guard? La'el Collins' Role?
#5 - Can Hardy Play Enough To Lead Cowboys In Sacks In 2015?