Cowboys first depth chart… Tyler Smith is the No. 1 left tackle. Of course Michael Gallup is on the starting roster at the moment and he’s not playing this week. pic.twitter.com/NUJXxFnjgG
– Toddarcher September 6, 2022
The working term here is “informal”. However, this does give us some interesting things, as it should reflect the thinking of the employees. Here are some that stand out.
Quinton Bohana in the opening role on Neville Gallimore
This is not about who is the best player. It’s almost certainly a reflection of how players use distance and bottom. Bohana is a great and discontinued 1 technique. Expect him to see a lot of first defeats when the other team is more likely to hand the ball over. Gallimore will be a favorite when scrolling, and over the course of the game you’ll likely see more shots than Bohanna. We know Dan Quinn loves to spin his guys. This is just another way this can be used to good effect.
Three lockers start
We’ve known for a long time that the nickel (four lines, two LBS, five DBs) was the cowboy’s true primary defense, but what does it mean that the depth chart now shows not only three starting corners but also three starting corners safes? I think that means we’ll see a lot of his mix up from Quinn, including the so-called dime pack. We can see them knock out six DBs and use one or more as quarterbacks, as they did with Jayron Kearse so well last season. Mostly, this makes it really difficult for the quarterback to read his keys, because the people in front of him don’t fit in much of whatever he’s ready for. We already have Micah Parsons to confuse crimes. Maybe they can go with just three transport workers and get Parsons off the edge, and then launch an attack on someone else. We’ll have to see if this lasts all season, but the possibilities are certainly interesting.
Kafontay Turpin ahead of Dennis Houston
Obviously, Michael Gallup will be inactive for one game and maybe at least two. That still leaves six wide receivers on the list to deal with Sunday. They will have a hard time getting goals for all of them when you also consider tight ends and running backs. Houston seems to have reached the end of the selection arrangement, although it was somewhat liked in all the camps. But it also makes sense for Turpin to be a step above him, because they have to activate Turpin so he can return kicks and balls. If they kept only five active receivers, which has often happened in the past, Houston would be the odd guy out. This isn’t a hit on him, and if a receiver stumbles in front of him, he’ll get his chances as the season progresses.
This offensive line still looks nerve-wracking
Until Jason Peters is ready to go, the team has to rely on Matt Waltzko and Josh Paul as backup. With the ball showing more efficiency on the right side than on the left and Waltzko losing a lot of camp, they have little choice. Meanwhile, Matt Farniuk is the only depth they have for the inside of the line that doesn’t go beyond the moving pieces to get Tyler Smith back into the left guard. In the past, a team would often go with only two reserve workers for a gameday. And they may keep Waletzko active.
Anticipate the first week of inactivity
In order to make things work the way they handle a QB2 and kicker by calling Cooper Rush and Brett Maher from the coaching squad, there must be seven idle in the first game. This is my expectation:
Michael Gallup – Obviously.
Josh Paul – As mentioned, they kept Waletzko. Left intervention is more important to be ready to cover. They can keep both active, but it’s hard to tell which one makes them inactive.
Dennis Houston Once again, they have to keep Turpin active.
John Ridgway – There’s really only one place for a real NT the way Quinn uses his men, so the novice has to stay on the sidelines.
Chauncey Goulston – It’s probably because of him or Sam Williams, and they’ll want to get a second-round pick on the field.
Nahshon Wright This is a performance-based call only. Daron Bland outperformed Wright in the pre-season. There’s always a chance to go with seniority here, but that wouldn’t be a wise move.
Marquis Bell The last one was the hardest. Luke Gifford may seem like a more obvious choice, but they may see more value in the contributions of his own teams. Bell also accounts for a bit of an investment as a UDFA, and it shouldn’t be, but they let that influence their decisions at times.
Outside of Gallup, there is no certainty here. Part of the problem is the amount of reading in this depth chart. Actual inactivity this weekend will also tell us how true that is.