The Dallas Cowboys just finished their first minicamp of the 2017 NFL offseason and had a look at a number of players vying for spots on the roster. However, when the minicamp ended, it was two veterans that were turning heads for a number of people. According to ESPN, the two best players at the Dallas Cowboys first minicamp were wide receiver Dez Bryant and linebacker Anthony Hitchens.

Dez Bryant

For the first five seasons of his NFL career, Dez Bryant developed a reputation as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. While there are some opposing quarterbacks who think he is “just a guy,” Bryant put up huge numbers from 2012 through 2014, catching 274 passes for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns through the air.

That included 16 touchdowns in 2014 alone. His incredible numbers and ability to make big plays caused the Dallas Cowboys to award him with a five-year, $70 million contract, with $45 million guaranteed, while letting the NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray leave via free agency.

To repay the Dallas Cowboys for the new contract and their faith in him, Dez Bryant ended up injuring his foot on Sept. 13 and he only played in nine total games that season. Bryant’s numbers the season after signing his new deal was 31 receptions for 401 yards. To make matters worse, Bryant was injured for part of 2016 as well and only caught 50 passes for 796 yards through 13 games last year.

For some, the Dez Bryant contract was a bust but this offseason, Dez Bryant looks stronger than ever.

Dez caught just about every pass a Dallas Cowboys quarterback threw towards him, even the difficult ones. With his injuries behind him, Bryant has worked hard this offseason and might make a huge difference in 2017.

Anthony Hitchens

Anthony Hitchens has had a lot of problems as well. The Dallas Cowboys desperately need a pass rush and Anthony Hitchens was expected to be that player as an outside linebacker.

However, after a rookie season where he had 84 tackles, he only started in nine games in his sophomore season and his numbers dropped to 67. In 2016, Hitchens played better, with 78 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Despite this, the Dallas Cowboys are looking at Jaylon Smith as a possible superstar that will take Anthony Hitchens place in the lineup.

Smith didn’t play as a rookie because of nerve damage suffered in college but the Cowboys thought enough of him to draft him in the second round, knowing he wouldn’t play until this year. Meanwhile, Hitchens just had one of the best minicamps of his career, playing all over the field and looking like he won’t give up his job without a fight.

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