IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.
Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.
As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.
With 43 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on the ever-changing safety position.
43) Will Rookies Complicate Safety Position Even More?
There isn't a position heading into training camp more wide open than safety. That's not a surprise considering this spot hasn't been solidified since Darren Woodson and Roy Williams were manning the post back in 2003. Ever since then, at least one of the positions has seemingly been up for grabs during the summer.
This year is no exception. While Will Allen and Matt Johnson are likely competing for one spot opposite Barry Church, nothing is a given with any of those three. The Cowboys also recently signed Eric Frampton and Danny McCray, a top special teams captain the last two years, could figure into the mix as a backup.
Then you throw in the rookie factor. The Cowboys drafted J.J. Wilcox and undrafted rookie Jakar Hamilton, who dons the No. 43, could make a splash as well. Hamilton last played at South Carolina State but was a standout player at Georgia before academic issues landed him at SCSU. In the first rookie minicamp, he showed the SEC athleticism and talent that got him a fifth-round grade on the Cowboys' draft board. [embedded_ad]
If Hamilton and Wilcox can work themselves into the equation, it might squeeze out a veteran such as Allen or McCray, if not both. But to do that, both rookies will have to be standouts on special teams, covering kicks on punts and kickoff.
Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number 43:
- The Cowboys have only issued the No. 43 eight times in franchise history, but two players are currently in the Ring of Honor – Don Perkins and Cliff Harris.
- Tony Dorsett had 43 career 100-yard rushing games. Among those games, the Cowboys were 39-4.
- The only player drafted 43rd overall in Cowboys history is running back Julius Jones, the club's top overall choice in the 2004 draft.