5 Dallas Cowboys Breakout Candidates in 2024 Include Jalen Tolbert, Rico Dowdle

The Dallas Cowboys will be leaning on youth this season. Which five players are potential breakout candidates in 2024?

The 2023 NFL season ended all too familiarly for the Dallas Cowboys, and despite some hope to see them go “all-in” this offseason, it became increasingly clear that there would be a youth movement in 2024.

Dallas will have several new, important starters on both sides of the ball this upcoming season. As the Cowboys begin to turn the page toward a fresh start, there are numerous breakout candidates to watch heading into the season.

Dallas Cowboys Breakout Candidates

There are still unknowns circulating the Cowboys this year, with much of that centered around big-time contracts for a few of their superstars still unresolved. However, beyond the business side of things, Dallas has several questions that need to be answered on the field as well.

We know who the stars are, but who may be a breakout candidate for the team in 2024? We look at five players that have the potential to do just that.

WR Jalen Tolbert

It may sound crazy to say when you look at the big picture in Dallas, but there may not be a person in that building with more on the line in 2024 than Jalen Tolbert. The WR3 job is his to lose, and if Tolbert doesn’t snatch the job up in training camp, who knows what the future holds for the former Southern Alabama WR?

Michael Gallup is gone, yet Dallas waited until the sixth round to take a wideout. And with no veteran addition to speak of, Tolbert is looking at his greatest opportunity to contribute since entering the NFL.

Ask anybody in the building, and they’ll tell you the talent and work ethic is there. It’s now about letting talent meet timing, and with everything in front of him, 2024 may be the year Tolbert finally breaks out for the Cowboys.

LB DeMarvion Overshown

There may not have been a player on the Cowboys’ roster last training camp who was getting more hype than DeMarvion Overshown. The former Texas Longhorn defender was flying around the field making plays in practice, and it translated to live game action in the preseason as well.

Unfortunately, during a preseason matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Overshown suffered a torn ACL, ending his rookie season before it even began.

Fast-forward to the present day. It’s been reported that the young LB has bulked up and is ahead of schedule in his rehab, once again getting Cowboys Nation fired up for what they had hoped they were getting in 2023.

DT Mazi Smith

Last season didn’t go the way anyone had hoped for Mazi Smith. Smith was brought in to be a force in the middle of a Cowboys defense desperately trying to strengthen its run defense. However, he ended up losing weight and some of his play strength and didn’t see the impact he or the staff had hoped.

With a new staff, 2024 is a new chance, and the vibes around Smith are much better. New defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has a plan for the big man. Smith himself has even stated that he’s putting more weight back on in hopes of being the true 1-technique that Dallas wanted him to be.

EDGE Sam Williams

When it comes to Sam Williams, the talent is evident, but opportunities have been lacking. Stuck behind Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler, it was hard for Williams to get enough snaps in the pass-rushing rotation to satisfy. However, with both veterans gone to Washington, Williams’ chance to shine is now.

MORE: Micah Parsons Defends Absence From Cowboys Minicamp

He’s a physical pass rusher who plays with an edge and is excellent in the run game. Getting Williams more opportunities to make plays could work out great for the Cowboys and may have been a considerable factor in why they didn’t hurry to match either player’s free agent demands to retain them.

RB Rico Dowdle

The buzzword in Dallas regarding the RB room is “committee.” The belief is that the Cowboys don’t have one specific workhorse back but instead plan to lean on the entire stable of guys to get the job done in the run game.

However, if there was one guy who could command the bulk of the carries in 2024, it just may be Rico Dowdle.

Dowdle has had limited opportunities thus far in his career, having played behind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard the entire time. Yet, with Elliott now back in the fold, but with more tread on the tires, Dowdle looks to be the young, fresh RB on the roster who could see the healthy portion of the carry splits.

Dowdle did well with his first real opportunities last season. While he was a free agent for some time this offseason, the Cowboys made sure to bring him back, showing their hand on how they may feel about the young RB.

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