Gut Feeling: Staff Writers Pinpoint Draft Picks With Chance To Be Day 1 Starters

The Cowboys drafted nine players, including seven on defense, which certainly added to their depth on that side of the ball.

But could any of them start right away? The staff writers of each picked a player they thought would have a shot to play Week 1 against the Giants on Sept. 10.

David Helman:Take a look down the Cowboys' cornerback depth chart, and you should see some similarities. Most of their corners – veterans and rookies – measure between 5-10 and 6-0, and they weight about 190. Right off the bat, Chidobe Awuzie is the biggest of the bunch. He stands very close to 6-1, and his NFL Combine weight is 202. That size doesn't hinder his athleticism, though, given that he runs a 4.43 40-yard dash. With his size and ability, Awuzie becomes my prime candidate to replace Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne on the outside. I don't know if he's going to be a shutdown corner from the Day 1, but you need three quality corners in this day and age – and I like Awuzie's odds to earn one of the outside jobs. There are several guys who can play the slot for this team, but only a couple have the measurables to play outside. I think Awuzie is one of them, right from the jump.

Nick Eatman: If you're looking for a guy to start in the first game, I could see it being Chidobe Awuzie, but maybe not at his original position. They drafted him as a corner, the first of three guys selected at that spot. Once the dust is settled, it won't surprise me if they try him out at safety. When they line up all of their defensive backs and try to figure out how to keep them all, the depth at corner might be much deeper than safety. Awuzie not only has the size and tackling ability, but he seems to have the awareness for the position, too. I know Heath is going to get a shot to compete but having him play safety and special teams is important, too. I think Awuzie could be your Day 1 starter, knowing that Heath and Frazier and perhaps rookie Xavier Woods will have a shot as well.

Bryan Broaddus: The one thing this draft offers the Cowboys is the flexibility to have several starters at different positions. For the sake of the story, I was asked who's the one player that had the best chance to be a starter? It's a difficult call but give me Jourdan Lewis as the nickel corner. Most of his snaps were played in press-man and that is perfect for a guy that plays inside. He's super competitive and never backs down from a challenge. The tighter he plays, the better he is. Despite his lack of height, his quickness and reach will help him have success here. I could see Lewis coming into camp and being ready right off the jump to compete with Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown for the spot. On a side note, I would not be surprised if he were a better player initially than Chidobe Awuzie.

Rob Phillips: Here's a stat for you: of the Cowboys' last seven first-round picks since 2010, only Dez Bryant wasn't a rookie starter – and we all know how important he is now to the offense. Taco Charlton isn't guaranteed a starting job right away given the number of pass rushers on this roster, but I think his versatility gives him a chance to start a number of games in his first season. If a veteran wins the right defensive spot in training camp, well, Charlton should be a candidate to start on the left side as an edge setter. Factor in his experience playing inside, and there's a number of different ways they can use him on the defensive line. I'm really interested to see how he develops with coaching from Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett.

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