Dallas Cowboys: Projecting the Final 53


The Dallas Cowboys and the other 31 teams that make up the NFL are faced with the difficult task of determining which players will make up their final 53 man roster to start the 2015 NFL season.

The Cowboys organization might just have some of the most talented players since Jason Garrett has taken over as head coach, and they are faced with several difficult decisions about how many players to carry on the 53 man roster at each position.

Below is my personal prediction about how the Cowboys organization could possibly make up the final 53 man roster.

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Quarterback (2)

Tony Romo

Brandon Weeden

I think the Cowboys decide to go with just two quarterbacks this year. Dustin Vaughn didn’t do enough to justify a roster spot but could be destined for the practice squad if he clears waivers. Jameill Showers is another practice squad possibility and the Cowboys could hope to further develop his skills if he is able to clear waivers as well.

Running Backs (4)

Joseph Randle

Darren McFadden

Lance Dunbar

Tyler Clutts

This position is pretty much set since the Cowboys are determined to go to a committee approach in 2015, and Randle, McFadden, in Dunbar will all have their own specific role within the offensive scheme. Clutts I view as on the bubble of making the team and could possibly be replaced if the Cowboys claim a young running back off of waivers or make a trade. I find hard to justify keeping Clutts around when he only plays a handful snaps on offense, so I don’t see his roster spot secure at all.

Wide Receivers (6)

Dez Bryant

Terrance Williams

Cole Beasley

Devin Street

Lucky Whitehead

*player TBD

I believe that the Cowboys will go with six wide receivers and want to add a veteran who could step in if something were to happen to Bryant or Williams. I think Street and Whitehead are relatively secure for now because Street has a year in the system and the coaching staff would probably feel comfortable with him stepping in for a short period of time if there was an injury. Whitehead is pretty much secured his roster spot due to his special teams contribution. Look for the Cowboys to scour the waiver wire or add a veteran wide receiver through a trade.

Tight Ends (4)

Jason Witten

James Hanna

Gavin Escobar

Geoff Swaim

Four tight ends and a fullback on the 53 man roster? As of right now, that’s the way I see things shaking out. I think both Escobar and Hanna could possibly be used in a trade and Swaim has shown enough to keep on the roster and further develop. Swaim needs to improve as a blocker much like Escobar, but he has already surprised the coaching staff in the passing game. I find it hard to not have Swaim on my 53 man roster projection.

Offensive Lineman (8)

Tyron Smith

Ronald Leary

Travis Frederick

Zack Martin

Doug Free

Mackenzy Bernadeau

La’ el Collins

*player TBD (swing tackle)

This position was probably the easiest for me to determine. The starting five could possibly be the best in the entire NFL. Bernadeau can play all three interior positions and Collins needs more time to develop before he can challenge for starting role. I don’t believe that Darrion Weems did anything to justify him being the swing tackle and I think the Cowboys scouting department will look really hard for someone to come in and hopefully secure that role.

Defensive Backs (10)

Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Byron Jones

Corey White

Tyler Patmon

Barry Church

J. J. Wilcox

Jeff Heath

Danny McCray

Both Jones and White offer position flexibility so the Cowboys can afford to go a little thin at the safety position. I have McCray making it as of now but I think the Cowboys could look to add a veteran cornerback that can play the slot position in case Patmon isn’t up to the task. If this happens I believe that McCray will be the odd man out because he is mainly a special teams player and doesn’t offer very much as a safety on defense.

Linebacker (6)

Sean Lee

Anthony Hitchens

Andrew Gachkar

Damien Wilson

Kyle Wilber

Keith Smith

I have the Cowboys just carrying six linebackers to start the season until Rolando McClain is able to come back and join the team from his four-game suspension. I don’t have Jasper Brinkley making the team because I think that Keith Smith outplayed him both on defense and Smith has added value because he can play special teams as well. This is another position where the Cowboys could look to add a player via trade or as a waiver wire pickup.

Defensive Lineman (10)

Demarcus Lawrence

Jeremy Mincey

Randy Gregory

Ryan Russell

Lavar Edwards

Nick Hayden

Tyrone Crawford

Jack Crawford

Davon Coleman

Terrell McClain

Ken Bishop

Going with 10 defensive lineman might be a little much, but I really liked what I saw from Coleman, McClain, and Bishop in the final preseason game. I think Bishop could be the odd man out because he is strictly in one technique whereas both Coleman and McClain can play the three technique as well. Once Greg Hardy is able to rejoin the team Lavar Edwards will probably become expendable. Jack Crawford and Ryan Russell can both play inside at the three technique and as a defensive end, which only adds to their value and earns them a roster spot in my projection.

Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

L. P. LaDouceur

This trio could be set in stone unless there is some unfortunate injury that occurs during the season.

All of this is subject to change because of trades and injuries throughout the season, but this is my opinion of what the final 53 man roster could look like to start the 2015 season.