With Cole Beasley receiving more practice reps as an outside receiver, is this the year we see Dez Bryant become a true, versatile mismatch by playing multiple WR positions?
Rowan: That's certainly the hope, and I'm going to go ahead and say yes. With the addition of Devin Street as well, the Cowboys now have three players with size who can play on the outside. That affords Dez Bryant more of an ability to move around and create better looks to get him open. Scott Linehan's accustomed to having a stud wide receiver, and I imagine he'll find ways to get Bryant the ball however possible. Moving him inside is among the options. Hopefully for the Cowboys' sake, the days of three or fewer targets for Dez Bryant are out the window.
David: For all the praise we give Dez about being one of the game's three or four best receivers, and for all the hype about his impending contract situation, I'd certainly expect to see him take that step this season. Like Rowan said, it could be Devin Street or Beasley that helps Bryant accomplish that, but the focus should be on creating as many matchup problems as possible using Bryant. Fortunately, Scott Linehan not only has experience targeting Calvin Johnson exhaustively, he also moved Megatron around the Lions' formations plenty often. I think we're going to see a more diverse Dez Bryant this year.
Between Mo Claiborne, Bruce Carter and DeMarcus Lawrence who has the best chance of living up to their draft [embedded_ad] expectations this season?
Rowan: I would say Carter. I don't know if it'll ever be possible for Claiborne to live up to those lofty expectations even if he has a good season, while typically pass rushers need some time to adjust to the strength of tackles in the NFL. Carter's the one most are counting on to have a bounce-back season, and as a former second-round pick, he doesn't need to do quite as much to live up to his draft day hopes as others. The plan is for him to be the accountable linebacker, and he'll need to be for this defense to get back to where it wants to be.
David: For some dumb reason, I have a good feeling about Claiborne's ability to bounce back this fall. If the Cowboys do in fact plan to play more man coverage this season, it should play directly to Mo's favor. On top of that, the pass rush won't be great – but I think it might be better on the whole than it was last year. This is kind of a technicality, but I also think the Cowboys face a less-challenging slate of quarterbacks in 2014. I don't know if he's going to the Pro Bowl, but I think Mo takes a step up this year.