Running Backs to Headline Competition For Starting Jobs at Training Camp | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Running Backs to Headline Competition For Starting Jobs at Training Camp

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 21: Joseph Randle #21 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball as Jerrell Freeman #50 of the Indianapolis Colts tries to position for the tackle in the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    Good thing about 12-4 teams coming off a season with a playoff win: The holes are minimal, and usually easy to identify.

    As the calendar turns to July we can begin to smell football. And we can start to identify the positions open for competition at Cowboys’ camp.

    Barring injury, unforeseen slippage or drastic improvement, the battles are few and far between. In other words, the Cowboys’ starters are set at most positions. From punter to kicker to quarterback to safety, we mostly are assured who will play and how well they’ll play.

    With Oxnard three weeks off, to me these look like the open competitions for starting gigs:

    Cornerback – Orlando Scandrick is set on one side. But on the other can underperforming, overpaid Brandon Carr hold off the arrival of Byron Jones and the comeback of Morris Claiborne?

    Defensive End – At least until Greg Hardy’s suspension is up, Jeremy Mincey seems locked in. But on the other side DeMarcus Lawrence, Ben Gardner and even rookie Randy Gregory all have a chance to start.

    Defensive Tackle – Tyrone Crawford has a shot to unseat starters Terrell McClain and Nick Hayden.

    Linebacker – Rolando McClain in the middle. Sean Lee on the weak side. And on the strong side … Kyle Wilber or Anthony Hitchens?

    Right Tackle – Doug Free is back, but he’ll be pushed by highly touted free agent La’el Collins.

    Running Back – The most scrutinized, most important battle of all will be who wins DeMarco Murray’s old gig? Joseph Randle has the inside track, though he’ll be challenged by Darren McFadden and Ryan Williams.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.