- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys are off now until late July, when they'll start training camp.
We have some random thoughts about what we've seen this offseason.
•The best player this offseason was Dez Bryant. He seems unstoppable at times during practices, and we can count on one hand the number of times at which a pass was broken up by a defender. Bryant is stronger than he was last season and said he's becoming more of a student of the game. He wants to make sure his techniques are down, and, while he made plays on just his athletic ability in the past, he wants to beat defenders on the small things. That finger of his that was fractured last season? No problems. Bryant is catching the ball with no issues. When other veterans are getting a day off of rest, none is needed for Bryant, which is a positive thing.
•The Cowboys' backup quarterbacks looked shaky in the offseason with Tony Romo out. Kyle Orton, Nick Stephens and Dalton Williams missed open receivers too many times. The Cowboys are expected to go with just two quarterbacks in the regular season, but if something happens to Romo, you should worry about Orton. Maybe a lack of snaps, or the heat, got to him, but his timing was off. The last time he got extensive snaps was in the loss to Chicago last season in which he completed nine of 10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. After watching this offseason display, the Cowboys need to make drafting a quarterback a priority in 2014.
•Drafting a defensive linemen seemed to be a priority for the Cowboys from people outside the organization, but nope, the team didn't do it. The age of the projected starting defensive linemen is at least 30, with the exception of Anthony Spencer, who is 29. However, the backups are all in their 20s. Kyle Wilber, Ben Bass, Sean Lissemore and Tyrone Crawford should make the roster in 2013. These players have a future for the Cowboys, which could be the reason the team didn't draft anybody.
•There are two positions on the Cowboys' roster that could feature four players at each spot. Tight end could have four players: Dante Rosario, Jason Witten, James Hanna and Gavin Escobar make the 53, and the running back spot might have Lance Dunbar, DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle make the squad. Kendial Lawrence might be a practice squad candidate and there's a chance Colin Cochart will also hang around by upstaging someone for a roster spot. Where does this leave fullback Lawrence Vickers? He's coming off back surgery, and, while he's a valuable player, the numbers game and his recovery from the surgery are factors in his status.
•Of all the draft picks from the 2013 class, J.J. Wilcox has been impressive. He's around the ball, whether it's making an interception or a knockdown. You can tell he's picked up the defensive scheme well. The favorites to start at safety are Barry Church and Will Allen, but Wilcox has made more plays than Matt Johnson, a draft pick from last year, who didn't play a snap because of hamstring and back issues. Wilcox has to continue his good work in training camp and the preseason to move up the depth chart.