Cowboys taking different looks at players

IRVING, Texas -- The offseason is a great time to try things. Just don’t call it experimenting when you mention it to Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

“For some reason, I don’t like the word ‘experiment,’” Garrett said. “It’s more just, ‘Let’s get guys opportunities to do this and see what they can do,’ and I guess you could say that is an experiment. But that seems a ... little bit frivolous, (that) we’re putting this potion into this potion into this potion into this potion.”

Maybe there isn’t a secret sauce the Cowboys are trying to perfect, but they are, at least, moving players around a little bit.

Brandon Carr has played left cornerback since the day he signed with the Cowboys in 2012. This offseason, he has been taking turns at right cornerback with Orlando Scandrick playing the left side. Generally speaking, the opponents’ top receivers line up against the left cornerback. If Scandrick is the Cowboys’ best corner, then why not have him line up against the best receiver more often?

What complicates the issue is when Scandrick moves into the slot in three-wide-receiver sets. The Cowboys are giving first-round pick Byron Jones some work inside to see what he can do, which potentially could allow them to leave Scandrick outside.

On the defensive line, the Cowboys are using Jeremy Mincey at defensive tackle in pass-rush situations. He led the Cowboys with six sacks last season, lining up mostly at right defensive end. He played some tackle in 2014, but with the acceleration of DeMarcus Lawrence in his second year and the additions of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory this offseason, Mincey is getting time to work inside.

He did a lot of it in Jacksonville and actually played all four spots along the front. Mincey's versatility can allow the Cowboys to create more favorable matchups with their pass-rushers.

On the offensive line, rookie La'el Collins played right tackle during the first organized team activity open to the media. Last week he lined up at left guard.

Eventually the Cowboys will want to pick a spot for Collins and Jones to give them to best chance to succeed as rookies.

“You don’t want to (move guys around) too much,” Garrett said. “You do want to get guys comfortable. But there is some value in doing that throughout your team.”