With training camp less than a month away, plenty of questions still surround the 2021 Dallas Cowboys. As always, training camp will tell us a lot about where things are headed and what the 53-man roster might look like once the final cuts are done.
Today, we take a look at three Cowboys players that we’re not talking about enough ahead of training camp.
CB C.J. Goodwin
In John Fassel’s first season with the Cowboys, the special teams underwent a major improvement. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA, the Cowboys went from being the 30th ranked special teams unit in 2019 to the 7th best in the NFL in 2020.
No one played more snaps for the Cowboys’ special teams last season than C.J. Goodwin, having participated in 70% of the snaps. Goodwin, a fast player, has proven to be one of the most reliable Cowboys’ special teamers.
However, Goodwin’s participation in defense has been very limited. Although Mike Nolan featured him on a defensive package named “C.J.” versus the Philadelphia Eagles to limit Jalen Hurts’ running game, Goodwin only played in 18 defensive snaps all season.
Goodwin now faces a lot of competition after the Dallas Cowboys drafted multiple defensive backs in April including Israel Mukuamu and Nahshon Wright. In training camp, Goodwin will have to fight for his spot on the Cowboys’ 53-man roster.
OT Ty Nsekhe
Nsekhe might just be one of the most overlooked free-agent additions in 2021. The Cowboys signed him early in the offseason, probably getting themselves some insurance in case they weren’t in a position to draft an offensive tackle. However, by adding Josh Ball in the fourth round, Nsekhe might find himself competing with the talented rookie for the team’s swing tackle spot.
But make no mistake about Nsekhe. He’s a capable veteran and even though his age plays against him in a Cowboys’ locker room filled with young backup tackles, he’ll try to make it clear he’s the OT3 behind Tyron Smith and La’el Collins.
There are split opinions on Nsekhe, but he’ll be one of the most intriguing players to watch in training camp and one that will tell us a lot about how the Cowboys feel about their young tackles.
S Damontae Kazee
Unlike Goodwin and Nsekhe, the former Falcons’ safety isn’t in the roster bubble. As the projected starter at free safety, Kazee falls in a different “under-the-radar” category. The Dallas Cowboys’ safety position continues to be seen as one of the biggest questions on defense, but if healthy, Kazee could be one of the biggest surprises in 2020.
After all, he did have seven interceptions in 2018 and another three in 2019. Coming off an Achilles injury should make Cowboys Nation cautious of getting their expectations too high, but Kazee can play.
And since he’s already worked with Dan Quinn’s defense, he’s an immediate fit that paired with Donovan Wilson could pay off right away.
Featured Image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports