The final cuts are in for the 2014 edition of the Dallas Cowboys and, true to form, some of the moves made by the front office folks at The Ranch left this blue-bleedin’ fan scratching my head. Of course the practice squad has yet to be named and some additional tweaking is probable before the San Francisco 49ers come calling on September 7. Still, there were a few prospects that would, in my humble opinion, have made a positive impact on the team if given an opportunity.
Despite leading the pack in terms of stats from the preseason, running back Ryan Williams narrowly missed making the Cowboys roster but was added to the practice squad. After being let go by the Arizona Cardinals due to injury issues, Williams seemed hungry for a chance to prove he could be a productive member of the Dallas offense. He left nothing on the field in terms of effort and was a player that it was easy to root for. Since Williams cleared waivers, though, the gamble to release him and then sign him to the practice squad appears to be a coup for the Cowboys.
Another strange move by the ‘Boys was to not carry an extra corner onto the 53-man squad. This is especially befuddling given the upcoming suspensions of Orlando Scandrick and Jakar Hamilton. Even though he had problems in keeping away from the penalty flags, Terrance Mitchell looked like a lock to make the final cut. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys secondary shakes out as the season progresses.
Defensive tackle Zach Minter caused quite a stir when he made his initial appearance for the Cowboys against the Baltimore Ravens. His presence provided an instant spark to a Cowboys defense that had been looking a bit lackluster up to his entrance into the game in the second half. Minter faltered a bit in road game at Miami, but seemed to pick back up in the Cowboys preseason finale against the Denver Broncos. For whatever reason, though, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot for the big guy on the 53-man roster.
The move that is sure to make the most headlines concerning the Cowboys final cuts is the decision to keep a third quarterback on the active roster. With Tony Romo coming off his much ballyhooed back surgery and the addition of Brandon Weeden as his backup, the decision to keep rookie Dustin Vaughan begs the question as to whether or not the Cowboys are hoping to groom him to be the next signal caller when Romo hangs up his cleats? It would seem a bit of a premature move, considering the hefty contract Romo has been signed to, but with the Jones Boys in control, stranger things have happened in Cowboysland.
There is nothing to do now but wait to see what final maneuvering is left before the Cowboys take the turf against Frisco at AT&T Stadium and hope that Dallas can field a winning team for 2014.