2019 squad analysis - Edge forwards

Part 1 - 2019 squad analysis - Fullback
Part 2 -  2019 squad analysis - Outside backs
Part 3 - 2019 squad analysis - Halves
Part 4 - 2019 squad analysis - Hooker
Part 5 - 2019 squad analysis - Middle forwards

Each week Cowboys.com.au will provide an in-depth positional analysis of the 2019 North Queensland Toyota Cowboys squad.

The series continues this week with the edge forwards unit led by Cowboys legend Gavin Cooper.

The players are ranked by their NRL experience with their career number of games in brackets next to their name.

Edge forwards

Gavin Cooper (284)

Cooper broke a 100-year old record by becoming the first forward in premiership history to score tries in nine consecutive games, breaking a record previously held by newly inducted immortal Frank Burge. Cooper is preparing to enter his first season in Cowboys colours without long-time left edge running mate Johnathan Thurston by his side and will look to quickly strike up a combination with JT's replacement.

Ethan Lowe (108)

The Cowboys premiership-winning second rower will look to fight his way back to being an NRL regular in 2019 after battling through a tough 2018. Lowe had two separate stints in the Queensland Cup last season, but impressed upon returning to the top grade for the final three games.

Coen Hess (59)

A Queensland State of Origin incumbent, Hess has emerged as one of the premier young forwards in rugby league. The 22-year-old followed his breakout 2017 campaign with a solid season in 2018, scoring seven tries in 23 games. Hess was promoted to the starting side early in 2018 and will look to solidify that spot in 2019.

Coen Hess re-signs with the Cowboys for a further three seasons. 

Shane Wright (3)

After debuting late in the 2017 season, Wright added two more top grade games to his resume in 2018 before a hamstring injury robbed him of any more NRL action. A strong off season will have Wright pushing for a spot in the forward rotation come Round 1.

Mitchell Dunn (2)

A former five-eighth, Dunn moved into the forward pack last season with immediate success. The Mackay product earned an NRL debut in Round 13 against Manly and added another top-grade appearance in Round 19 against St George Illawarra. A skillful edge forward with a deadly offload, Dunn will be a player Cowboys fans will want to keep a close eye on in 2019.