Dallas Cowboys: Predicting The Final 53-Man Roster


The Dallas Cowboys will be spending the next two days determining how to trim down their roster from 75-men to only 53, leaving a total of 22 their players either on the waiver wire or on the streets. But who will make the Cowboys final 53-man roster? Below is my attempt to predict that list. As always, we’ll start with quarterbacks.

Quarterback (2)
Tony Romo
Brandon Weeden

Note: Although at one point this preseason, this seemed like a difficult choice, the poor play of second-year quarterback Dustin Vaughan has made it a simple one. Romo and Weeden will ride out the season alone. Vaughan and Showers are candidates for the practice squad, although I don’t think Dallas keeps both of them.

Running Backs (5)
Joseph Randle
Darren McFadden
Lance Dunbar
Gus Johnson
Tyler Clutts

Note: The Cowboys go a little heavy here at running back, although I strongly believe Johnson is strictly a placeholder for another player to be added via the waiver wire. There are simply too many injury concerns, and overall concern in general, about this positional group not to have plenty of insurance.

Wide Receivers (5)

Dez Bryant
Terrance Williams
Cole Beasley
Devin Street
Lucky Whitehead

Note: Pretty cut and dry here. I believe Whitehead’s stellar performance on Thursday night has won him the last open spot in this recevier corps. He’ll be the Cowboys primary special teams returner to start the season and work behind Beasley in the slot.

Tight Ends (4)
Jason Witten
Gavin Escobar
James Hanna
Geoff Swaim

Note: With Hanna in the final year of his contract, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys try to move him soon. The rookie Swaim has played well enough he’s forced Dallas to find a place for him on the active roster.

Offensive Line (8)
Tyron Smith
Zack Martin
Travis Frederick
Ronald Leary
La’el Collins
Doug Free
Mackenzy Bernadeau
(TBD – Swing Tackle)

Note: My biggest concern here is the Cowboys need a swing tackle and I don’t see any player on the current roster that can be that for Dallas right now. I predict Dallas will find an answer on the waiver wire this weekend and therefore, I’ve left an open spot for that player.

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Defensive Line (10)
Demarcus Lawrence
Jeremy Mincey
Randy Gregory
Ben Gardner
Davon Coleman
Nick Hayden
Terrell McClain
Tyrone Crawford
Ryan Russell
Jack Crawford

Note: I give the nod to Gardner over Lavar Edwards here, but it’s very close. Russell is on the bubble for me as well, but his fifth round selection saves him on my roster. Not sure it does the same in real life.

Linebackers (7)
Sean Lee
Anthony Hitchens
Kyle Wilber
Damien Wilson
Jasper Brinkley
Andrew Gachkar
Keith Smith

Note: In my eyes, both Smith and Brinkley earn a roster spot for now. They’ll continue their battle into the regular season as Dallas will likely part with one of them when starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain returns from his league suspension after Week Four.

Secondary (8)
Brandon Carr
Morris Claiborne
Byron Jones
Tyler Patmon
Barry Church
Corey White
J.J. Wilcox
Jeff Heath

Note: As Jones and White can play both cornerback and safety, the Cowboys can elect to go thin here in order to fill other needs on the roster.

Special Teams (3)
Dan Bailey
Chris Jones
L.P. Ladouceur

Final note: The final count for this roster is 52, although I have likely gone too short at offensive line. That’s mainly due to the fact I dislike all of Dallas’ current back-up tackles. Again, expect the Cowboys to find some better alternatives on the waiver wire in the next couple of days.

Next: Dallas Cowboys Win Roster-Bubble Bowl, Beat Texans 21-14