Dallas Cowboys cuts: The (not so) final roster


Congratulations!  You made an NFL team.

If you’re Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten or any other of the multitude of stars on this team, Saturday at 3:00 p.m. CST was a mere formality.

For 22 other guys, it was the end of a dream, at least with this organization and possibly the start of an entirely new career path.

And for players like Lucky Whitehead, Geoff Swaim, or Ken Bishop, the sense of accomplishment and elation you feel for achieving your goal cannot be measured…

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Until maybe today or tomorrow if this team finds a better player at a different position that carries a greater need.

While the official fifty-three man roster has been submitted to the league, it’s far from truly “official.”  Last year, multiple moves were made in the days following this final cuts.  This is standard practice in the NFL, but especially so for the Dallas Cowboys organization as long as Jason Garrett is running this team.

Churning the roster and competition for spots is not just noise to fill the airwaves.  That’s the culture that this organization believes in.  I think it’s fair to say that it has worked so far.

The question isn’t “Who made the final 53?”  The real question is “Can you find someone better than what you have already here?”

Judging from the moves that were made, it seems obvious that the Cowboys will be looking for an upgrade at offensive tackle.  There is also the possibility that the team sees what is out there at the linebacker and running back spots as well.

Now that we can decipher that areas of need, which players should still be thinking rent instead of buy?

I feel it’s a safe assumption that the last five guys to make the team were probably Whitehead, Swaim, Bishop, Keith Smith and Danny McCray.  This is not only based on talent, but also upon roster depth.

With the Cowboys electing to keep 11 defensive linemen and four safeties (not including the position flexibility of Byron Jones or Corey White), removing Bishop or McCray in order to obtain another offensive lineman or linebacker would be the most likely scenario.

Regarding the depth on the defensive side of the ball, remember too that Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain will both be back in Week 5.  Two more players will have to go in order to make room for them.  That is to say, if even you make the team this weekend, it’s not a lock for the entire season.

A couple of interesting names that are out there that the Cowboys might consider:  Former Ravens tackle Jah Reid, former Packers tackle Derek Sherrod, ex-Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and LB Jameel McClain who was just released by the Giants.

You’re also probably seeing and hearing a lot from the talking heads in the media trying to connect the dots to any running back that is on the verge of or has already been released.  Unfortunately for them, the dots simply do not connect.

First of all, no one getting released today is going to come in and overtake Joseph Randle or Darren McFadden.  Those two guys are going to get a vast majority of the carries.  Secondly, since that is the case, guys like Terrance West, Montee Ball, Jonas Gray and others would all be gunning for the roster spot of Lance Dunbar.

Regardless of what you (or I) think of his skills or worth to this team, Dunbar is not getting replaced by any of those players.  His familiarity in the system and relationship with the offensive coaching staff gives him a leg up on any outside competition.

Even if he was to get replaced, it goes back to the issue of playing time.  Randle and McFadden are your 2015 running backs.  If injury plays any part to the depth, Dunbar is next man up and either Gus Johnson or Ben Malena come up from the practice squad.  Maybe then a trade would occur or a free agent would get a look see.

As of this moment however, kudos to the 53 guys who may represent the Star for the entire 2015 season.  Just remember, while you may have made it today, you have to keep earning it every day.

Someone is always just a phone call away.

Next: Dallas Cowboys Rumor Mill: Team Searches For Impact Players