On Saturday night, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against the Miami Dolphins in their third game of the NFL preseason. This matchup is also unofficially known as the “dress rehearsal” for most NFL teams as it normally features each rosters starters for at least half of the game. And for those first-teamers, this will likely be the last game they’ll participate in until the regular season starts. Although most of the attention is focused mainly on the “stars” in this game, it was actually an undrafted rookie that stole the spotlight for the Cowboys last night.
First-year cornerback Tyler Patmon certainly made his presence known on Saturday night against the Dolphins. By the end of the night, Patmon’s stat line looked like this: 5 tackles (led the team), 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended, one force fumble, and one amazing defensive touchdown. Not bad for one game’s worth of work, huh? And it certainly could be enough to insure Patmon makes the Cowboys final roster on August 30th. But how does his performance change Dallas’ defensive backfield?
I believe it effects one player directly: second-year corner B.W. Webb. The Cowboys fourth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Webb struggled in his rookie season playing sparingly in 15 games and recording only 16 tackles and one pass defended in that time span. Many believed Webb could be cut this offseason if his performance didn’t improve.
Although, Webb has shown flashes this offseason, Patmon’s explosion onto the scene last night most likely means the end of B.W.’s time in Dallas. The one thing that might save Webb from a visit from “The Turk” could be the recent four-game suspension of starting cornerback Orlando Scandrick. With the health of former first round pick Morris Claiborne also in question, there might be a spot for Webb at the very end of the bench. But, when you look at the Cowboys current roster in the defensive backfield, you’ll realize that’s a very slim possibility.
Obviously, starters Brandon Carr and Scandrick are making this team. As well as Claiborne. I believe the Cowboys coaching staff value veteran Sterling Moore‘s experience and will keep him on the final 53. And Dallas also can’t risk waiving seventh round rookie Terrence Mitchell for placement on the practice squad, as he would likely be picked up by another team.
That leaves three corners left on this bloated roster: the newly acquired Justin Green, Webb and Patmon. If tonight’s performance truly earns the undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State a spot of the final 53-man roster, Patmon should be “in” while Webb and Green seemed to be on the “outs”. Although, the Cowboys recently traded defensive tackle Ben Bass to the New England Patriots for Green, Patmon’s performance seems to have made that move irrelevant. The Cowboys were simply looking for someone to step up…and he did. It also doesn’t hurt Patmon’s a good special team’s player.
Ultimately, it will be the cuts and adds in other areas on this team that will effect the final roster of this defensive backfield. But Patmon certainly made his case for sticking around longer than just one more week.