The Dallas Cowboys, just like every other team in the NFL, trimmed their rosters down to 53 players on Saturday. You can see that entire cut list here: Cowboys Make Their Final Cuts; Could Add More Depth Soon Although today has been mostly about who got released, just as surprising is who got selected. And “team” is a very fluid concept around Valley Ranch right now. Dallas is expected to be an active participant on waiver wire this weekend. So the cuts may not quite be over. The “Turk” hasn’t officially left the building. But does he ever really?
Anyway, here are just some of the more surprising results from today’s final cut process.
The Cowboys Keep Five Tight Ends
iAug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) shakes hands with tight end Dante Rosario (80) after the 2013 Hall of Fame Game against the Miami Dolphins at Fawcett Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Dolphins 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I’m not sure why they are doing it, but they are doing it…for now. The Cowboys will be going into the 2013 season with five tight ends on their roster. Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, James Hanna and rookie Gavin Escobar were always a lock to make this final roster. Free agent signee Dante Rosario and journeyman Andre Smith were not. I expected the Cowboys to keep one of them, but not both. I figured Rosario had the edge over Smith due to his experience and special teams play. That’s not to say I wasn’t impressed by Smith. He’s an excellent blocker who proved to have surprisingly good hands during training camp. But for me, Smith failed to make a good impression during the preseason. Apparently, the Cowboys coaching staff felt differently. The team is without a fullback and their “12” formation looks to be their new “secret sauce” for the offense. In the end, having a back-up for the back-up makes sense, I guess.
Jeff Heath Remains
No one really gave the undrafted rookie safety out of Saginaw Valley State a chance of making this team when the preseason started. But slowly and surely, Heath’s name started to rise up the ranks. It’s actually an incredible feat to come out of no where to make the 53 man roster. But Heath is in good company as both quarterback Tony Romo and wideout Miles Austin did the same in their younger days. Now, the question is, will his name remain there? With the move to place safety Matt Johnson on IR for the season, the Cowboys clearly have a need for depth at safety. But Heath’s performance during the preseason finale game against the Houston Texans wasn’t very flattering. Heath missed tackles and took a few bad angles. All signs that he has a long way to go. But team need keeps Heath’s spot on the roster secure. That is unless they find a better option on the waiver wire.
Landon Cohen, just a place-marker?
Owner and general manager for the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, made it clear just before Thursday night’s game against the Texans. He is not happy about the team’s depth at defensive tackle. Jones all but said they will be bringing in another player for that position via waiver claim or free agency. Therefore, I predicted that the Cowboys would keep Cohen simply as a place-marker until another player was found. So far, i have seen nothing to prove that theory wrong. Yes, Cohen has made the final 53-man roster. But I wouldn’t get comfortable, if I were him.
Matt Johnson, Here’s To Year Three
The Cowboys fourth round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft has never even seen the field for Dallas during the regular season. Ever. Now the earliest that can happen is in 2014! Johnson, the safety out of Eastern Washington, has been placed on the season-ending IR for the second year in a row. But this is actually a good move for both sides. The Cowboys retain Johnson’s rights for yet another year without losing a roster spot to do so. And Johnson has a lot more time to properly heal from all of his past injuries. In 2012, it was his hamstrings. This season, he suffered a foot injury in very his first preseason game. Let’s just say Johnson will have a lot to prove in 2014. Here’s to your third rookie year!