We look at the most likely Cowboys candidates to make their Pro Bowl debut this season."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Dallas Cowboys NewsDallas Cowboys GeneralThree Dallas Cowboys players primed for Pro Bowl debut this season New Womens Demarcus Lawrence Jersey
,93commentsWe look at the most likely Cowboys candidates to make their Pro Bowl debut this season. CDTShareTweetShareShareThree Dallas Cowboys players primed for Pro Bowl debut this season Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJon Machota of the Dallas Morning News recently pointed out that the Cowboys have drafted very successfully during Will McClay’s tenure as Vice President of Player PersonnelBut even before McClay, the Cowboys have been well represented at Pro Bowls. In fact, since 2010 the Cowboys have sent 49 players to the Pro Bowl, just one player shy of the league-leading Patriots and Chiefs, who both sent 50 players to the Pro Bowl so far this decade. To a certain degree, the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest, but it is a popularity contest that is heavily skewed towards the most successful teams at the end of each season. And being a popular team doesn’t automatically guarantee you Pro Bowlers (the Patriots are pretty popular, but only had two Pro Bowlers last year). And even being a Cowboy is not an automatic shoe-in: the Cowboys have oscillated from lows of three Pro Bowlers in 2011 and 2012, to eight in 2014 and eight in 2018, though the latter included a few Pro Bowl alternates, but who’s counting?The long and short of it is that the Cowboys have done petty well at drafting and developing future Pro Bowlers both historically and in the recent past. Too bad it hasn’t resulted in more post-season success recently.But back to the topic at hand: We’re looking for Cowboys players who could make their Pro Bowl debut this season. And that might be a bit tricky, because 14 players currently on the roster have already made the Pro Bowl and have combined for 37 Pro Bowl invitations since 2010:5 Pro Bowls: Jason Witten (11x Pro Bowler over entire career)6 Pro Bowls: Tyron Smith5 Pro Bowls: Zack Martin4 Pro Bowls: Travis Frederick3 Pro Bowls: Amari Cooper (two with Oakland, one with Dallas)2 Pro Bowls: Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Robert Quinn (with St. Louis) 1 Pro Bowl: L.P. Ladouceur, Byron Jones, Leighton Vander Esch, Randall Cobb (with Green Bay)That still leaves a lot of Cowboys players eligible to make their Pro Bowl debut. The most obvious place to look for Pro Bowl newbies are former day one or day two pickswho haven’t been to the Pro Bowl yet. That list is topped by former second-rounder Jaylon Smith, but also includes the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Connor Williams, Randy Gregory (if he’s ever unbanned), Taco Charlton, and even honorary first-rounder La’el Collins, along with this year’s second-rounder, Trysten Hill. And you might even extend it to recent third-round picks like Connor McGovern Leighton Vander Esch Jersey White
, Michael Gallup, Jourdan Lewis, or Maliek Collins. There are also a few veterans who’ve at least been on the periphery of a Pro Bowl conversation before. Last year, the following players were ranked in the top 10 of the Pro Bowl fan ballot at their positions, but ultimately didn’t make it:Linebacker: Jaylon Smith (3rd among inside linebackers)Strong Safety: Jeff Heath (7th among strong safeties)Punter: Chris Jones (7th)Special Teams: Jamize Olawale (7th)Free Safety: Xavier Woods (8th)Return Specialist: Tavon Austin (9th)Kickers: Brett Maher (10th)And there are probably other veterans worth considering. Could one of the defensive tackles benefit from playing between DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn? Could some of the veteran free agent acquisitions have a career year in Dallas this season? You may want to add more names for consideration, but I think the names above are a good group from which to narrow down the discussion to three names. So without further ado, here are the three players that could make their Pro Bowl debut this season.Jaylon Smith: Smith had a very good season in 2018 and an equivalent effort at other positions might have gotten him a Pro Bowl nod. Instead, Smith got caught in a numbers game at inside linebacker: there are only two slots for ILBs on the NFC Pro Bowl team, and it’s hard to pass Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner for one of the two spots. Leighton Vander Esch only got in as an alternate last year, and that might be Smith’s best bet this year as well.Xavier Woods: The Cowboys drafted Woods in the sixth round but had a fourth-round grade on him, and according the Stephen Jones, Woods has been “even better than we thought he’d be.” Woods plays more of a free safety position, and that’s where you’d expect a player to get some opportunities to take the ball away. It can be hard for a safety to make the Pro Bowl if they don’t have some name recognition (last year’s FS Pro Bowlers: Derwin James, Eric Weddle, Harrison Smith, Eddie Jackson), and Woods doesn’t really have much name recognition outside of Dallas. Which means he’ll have to impress with the only stat that counts for the Pro Bowl voters: interceptions.Woods had just two interceptions last year, but there is hope that an improved pass rush could lead to more takeaway opportunities. There’s no reason why Woods shouldn’t be able to improve on his two-interception total, but will he improve enough?A yet-to-be-determined defensive tackle. Just like interceptions are the Pro Bowl currency of choice for defensive backs, sacks are the gold standard for defensive tackles. According to Pro Football Reference, 73 defensive tackles made the Pro Bowl since 2010, and about half of them posted more than six sacks in their Pro Bowl season. Six sacks will probably be the minimum entry threshold for a Cowboys DT, an eight-sack total would make any DT a very strong Pro Bowl candidate. Last year, Tyrone Crawford led all DTs with 5.5 sacks (though some of those came while moonlighting as a defensive end). Maliek Collins (3 sacks), Antwaun Woods (1.5), and Daniel Ross (1.0) also got to the QB, and the Cowboys have now added Trysten Hill. With a little bit of luck Dak Prescott Jersey White
, and with the hope of more pressure coming from the outside, one of these DTs might get to that six-sack threshold. But predicting which DT will get the most sacks is next to impossible, though I think Maliek Collins may have the best chance - if he remains healthy.Who are your choices for the player(s) most likely to make their Pro Bowl debut?Dallas Cowboys scouting report: Dissecting the Houston Texans offense Sunday night football. Nothing more fun than kicking back on a Sunday night, turning on the big screen and watching America’s team take on their in-state rival, the Houston Texans. The Cowboys defense had some hiccups last weekend against the Detroit Lions, and as we touched on last week, the Lions win by using play-action and attacking the back end of the secondary. The Texans win in very similar ways, so let’s take a look at what the Cowboys defense can do to stop them.Keep Deshaun Watson in the pocketWhen defending the Houston Texans passing game, the last thing you want to do is allow Deshaun Watson to get outside of the pocket. Watson seems to be much more comfortable throwing the football when on the move or extending plays. This issomething the Cowboys secondary will have to know heading into Sunday night’s game. The last thing Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown can do is get caught with their eyes in the backfield when defending DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and the rookie Keke Coutee.Play - 1: Watson sifting through pressure and delivering a dimeThis is where Watson is at his best. When he gets outside of the pocket, look out. Here he does an excellent job of handling the blitz, breaking a tackle attempt, and delivering a beautiful ball down field to DeAndre Hopkins. With Watson at quarterback, the play doesn’t end until the whistle is blown, do not get caught with eyes in the backfield, or with your guard down.Play - 2: Extending the play with his legsYes, Deshaun Watson can kill you with his arm when extending plays, but he can also kill you with his legs, which makes him really tough to defend. Watson plays the quarterback position very similar to players such as Cam Newton and Alex Smith, in the sense that when the play breaks down, it’s actually just getting started. When applying pressure on Watson, the last thing you want to happen is for him to shake off your tackle attempt, slip outside of the pocket and start his track downfield. On Sunday night, when DeMarcus Lawrence Womens Emmitt Smith Jersey
, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, and others get in the backfield, they need to be sure to wrap-and-roll Watson to finish the sack, without getting called for roughing the passer.Texans lack threat of running the footballThe Texan-tandem of Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue has struggled to get anything going on the ground so far in 2018. Through four weeks, Miller has carried the ball 58 times, for 225 yards, and zero touchdowns. Miller is dealing with a chest injury, and is questionable for the game, but even with his lack of success and injury issues, he is not a guy you can completely ignore. Miller has shown good vision throughout his career, the ability to break tackles, and catch the ball out of the backfield. The Cowboys will likely play the Texans running game similar to the way they played the Lions last week.Play - 1: Miller bouncing it outside for a nice gainYou won’t see Lamar Miller break off big run after big run, but he does have the ability to break off a nice run or two throughout a game. The Texans run a lot of outside/inside zone, and do a lot of creative things with their offensive line to open up holes for Miller to run through. Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith will need to be on their “A” game on Sunday night, being sure to stay in their gaps as the defensive ends work to set the edge. The Texans run game is the least of Rod Marinelli’s worries on Sunday, but we’ve seen the Cowboys defense struggle with weaker running games in years past.Containing Hopkins, Fuller, Coutee will be key to successThe Houston Texans have one of the best wide receiver trio’s in the NFL with DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and rookie Keke Coutee. Through four weeks, Hopkins already has 30 receptions, 443 yards, and two touchdowns on the season. Hopkins is one of the top three wide receivers in the NFL. HIs partner on the other side of the field isn’t to shabby either. Will Fuller always puts up pretty ridiculous numbers, but has struggled to stay healthy throughout his young career. A name you may not be familiar with, but need to be, is rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee. Coutee was one of my favorite mid-round receivers coming out of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech. Coutee is a good route runner Emmitt Smith Jersey
, with great speed and the ability to track the ball down field with ease.Play -1 : Watson to Fuller deep threat connectThis connection has been fun to watch over the last two seasons. While Hopkins is no doubt the better talent, Will Fuller and Deshaun Watson have built a really great connection over the last two years. Fuller does most of his damage down the field in the vertical passing game showcasing his speed and ability to separate. Fuller is also known for his drops, but while he can help you out by dropping the football, he can also kill you by making plays like the one above throughout an entire game. The Cowboys would be wise to show a safety shade to Fuller’s side of the field to protect the over the top ball to Fuller. The safety play for the Cowboys has been rather suspect over the last two weeks, they will need to play much better this week against a very talented WR group. Play-2: Hopkins becomes an immediate weapon in the red-zoneHopkins is great because he can do it all. Not only does he help get the Texans down the field with his route running, yards after catch, and tough contested catches, but he’s also one of the best red-zone wide receivers in the NFL. The Cowboys do not usually travel corners with star receivers, but it may not be a bad idea to allow Byron Jones to travel with Hopkins when the Texans get inside the red-zone. Byron’s length and athleticism, may matchup well against Hopkins size, and physicality. Play-3: Keke Coutee is a star in the makingIt’s been just one game for Texans 2018 fourth-round pick, but he has already made his mark with the Texans. Coutee can win in a variety of ways; in the slot, outside, and even running the football. He is electric with the ball in his hands due to his 4.43 speed and ability to make a man miss at anytime. Coutee is still the Texans third best receiver, but he’s one that will likely give Anthony Brown, his toughest test of the season so far. Texans offensive line continues to be poorThe Texans have been working to rebuild their offensive line for the last few years using the NFL Draft and free agency. Unfortunately for them, they have still yet to see the results pay off in a positive fashion. The Texans have already began shuffling bodies along the OL looking for any kind of answers they can find. Kendall Lamm was given a promotion to right tackle after second-year tackle Julie’n Davenport has struggled to be productive. Yes.... that noise you hear is DeMarcus Lawrence squealing, waiting to feast yet again. To make matters worse for the Texans, right guard Zach Fulton hasn’t been much better. Things don’t get much better for the left side of the line either for the Texans. Rookie tackle Martinas Rankin has had struggles.Play-1: Texans have struggled to handle ET/TE stunts, something Cowboys have executed wellThe Cowboys are a defense that run a lot of twist, stunts, and other exotic rushes to get their pass rushers home. This is something the Texans have struggled with a lot so far in 2018. With DeMarcus Lawrence lined up as the strong-side defensive end, with either Tyrone Crawford lined up beside him, this combination should give the inexperienced right side of the offensive line fits for the entirety of the game. Lawrence is slated to have another huge game working against a backup RT, and the Cowboys pass rush should be in for a big day if they can get Deshaun Watson to the ground.