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Mailbag: What Surprise Player Has Chance To Get Starting Job?

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DAN ROGERS
ALBANY, OR
What dark horse player do you feel has the biggest chance to snag a starting position?

David: I'm going to continue to beat the drum for my guy Phil Costa. Some might not technically qualify him as a darkhorse player, since he was supposed to start last year. But that was before the drafting of Travis Frederick. I still like Costa's shot at either beating the rookie or winning a guard position when the Cowboys get to training camp.

Nick: I think Ron Leary would be a nice pick for this question. He's had a lot of reps in the offseason with Bernadeau and Livings both out. He was a tackle in college so last year was a transition but he showed up nicely this summer and he could be a guy that wins a spot. Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox could end up starting at safety although probably not right away. And I wouldn't be shocked if Sean Lissemore starts at defensive tackle at some point because I think the scheme will fit his style perfectly.

MICHAEL RICKE
MADISON, SD
Which of last year's Cowboys - that are no longer with the team - do you expect to have the biggest impact with their new team this season.

David: He's probably not going to be a "starter" in the truest sense, but Marcus Spears has a good chance to get involved on the Ravens' defensive line rotation. Baltimore lost a lot of bodies and a lot of veteran leadership after the Super Bowl, so a nine-year veteran like Spears (and another former Cowboy, Christ Canty, as well) has a good opportunity to help fill the void.

Nick:I wouldn't be surprised to [embedded_ad] see John Phillips have a good year with the Chargers, who paid him nicely out there. He'll be behind Antonio Gates but that system utilizes the tight ends well. I would've said Victor Butler in New Orleans before he suffered his ACL injury.

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