Defensive line (9)
Demarcus Lawrence, Maliek Collins, Stephen Paea, Tyrone Crawford, Benson Mayowa, Taco Charlton, Charles Tapper, Lewis Neal, Cedric Thornton
First of all, David Irving and Damontre Moore will not count towards the final 53 due to suspension. Irving comes back after four games while Moore must sit two. That will allow Neal and Thornton a stay of execution, if you will. The names on this list may not strike fear but there i potential here. If anyone can extract it, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is a safe bet to do so.
Damien Wilson, Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, Justin Durant, Kyle Wilber, Joseph Jones
Wilson could also possibly face a suspension which would be a bigger loss than most people know. He’s having a great camp and really adds a speed component that no one else can at this position. You already know what you’re getting with Hitchens, Durant and Wilber. Lee is unquestionably the most important defensive player on the team. Whatever Dallas gets from Smith is gravy. I’ve said all pre-season a “no-name” would make the roster at this spot. Get to know Joseph Jones because seems to always be around the ball.
Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Duke Thomas
Conspicuous by his absence on this list is Nolan Carroll, who I believe also has a suspension coming his way. Whether or not he comes back to the roster will largely depend on how well Duke Thomas plays. Speaking of youngsters, 80% of the guys that make up this group will have less than two years COMBINED heading into the first game. Dallas is committing to learning on the fly, for better or worse.
Byron Jones, Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, Robert Blanton
Jones is steadily moving his way up to becoming one of the most indispensable players on the defensive side of the ball. Heath gets his chance to start as Woods learns the game on the fly as his eventual replacement. Blanton edges out Kavon Frazier for the last spot in this group.
Special Teams (3)
Dan Bailey, L.P. LaDouceur, Chris Jones
Same as it ever was.