By this Tuesday, August 26th, the Dallas Cowboys as well as all other NFL teams are required to cut down their offseason rosters to 75 players. Two days later, the Cowboys will face off against the Denver Broncos in their final game of the preseason. Thus giving the coaches and the fans one more chance to see their fringe players battle for a roster spot. Then, the dreaded 53-man final cuts must happen by Saturday, August 30th.
As last night was the Cowboys third preseason game a.k.a. the “dress rehearsal”, predicting the cut to 75 shouldn’t be too difficult. But I can tell you now, the cut down to 53 is going to be painful.
Here are my predicted Cowboys cuts from, what I count as currently a 90 player roster, down to 75. I also included my analysis of some of the bigger names.
Caleb Hanie, QB – I don’t expect the Cowboys to go with more than two quarterbacks on their final 53-man roster. And I believe undrafted rookie Dustin Vaughn is destined for the newly expanded practice squad. As for Hanie, he had his chance and now it’s back to free agency.
J.C. Copeland, FB – I truly wanted Copeland to bypass fullback Tyler Clutts this offseason. But the undrafted rookie out of LSU could not do it. The Cowboys might plan on stashing him on their practice squad, but why? It’s head coach Jason Garrett who likes the idea of having a fullback, but keeping two on his roster seems like a stretch.
Matt Johnson, S – This cut is has been two years in the making. After getting inured again this offseason. it’s time to let Johnson go. Whatever he could have been is now stained with three straight injury plaque seasons. That’s time we’ll never get back and time who could have used on a starting safety.
Orie Lemon, LB – Despite the need for quality linebacker play due to the injuries to Sean Lee and DeVonte Holloman, Lemon isn’t the answer. The Cowboys coaching staff know everything you need to know about the four-year veteran. And the fact he suffered a concussion in practice last week hasn’t helped his status. Younger players on the roster like Will Smith and Dontavis Sapp still have potential that Lemon has never quite fulfilled. It’s time for both parties moved on…again.
Dezmon Briscoe, WR – The Cowboys receiver corps is simply too crowded to keep Briscoe around. LaRon Byrd, Jamar Newsome, Tim Benford and rookie Chris Boyd are most likely all vying for a spot(s) on Dallas’ practice squad. And his lackluster performance on Saturday, playing in the final minutes of the game, was probably his last chance to impress the coaching staff. And dropping a pass on third down to essentially end the game probably didn’t help his chances.
Here’s the rest of my predicted cuts to 75:
Boatright, Kenneth DE
Ojomo, Adewale, DE
Goodin, Stephen, G
Patrick, Ronald G
Kreiter, Casey, LS
Hornsey, Tom, P
Smith, Keith, S
Thomas, Johnny, S
Aladenoye, Josh, T
Najvar, Jordan, TE
Now, some of these players could be held on to simply to fill out the team in the final preseason game on Thursday. But I don’t anticipate any of them actually making the final 53-man roster on Saturday. In fact, the Cowboys could cut more than 15 on Tuesday as they’ll surely be looking to add players waived by other NFL teams.