With the Dallas Cowboys having to cut down their roster from 90 to just 53 players in the coming days, the team has some tough choices to make.
With a mere five days until final cuts, the Dallas Cowboys will have some difficult decisions to make concerning their roster. In less than a week, the Cowboys, along with every other NFL team, will have to cut down their bloated 90-man rosters to just 53 players in preparation for the start of the regular season.
That’s a whopping 37 players per team who will get an unwanted visit from the Turk, and be looking for gainful employment next week. Now, some of these players will land on the team’s practice squad, while others may find work with another franchise. The point is, with just one last preseason game left on the schedule, this is “do or die” time for every fringe player on the roster.
Being one of the 37 dreaded players comes down to a myriad of reasons. Most of the time, it’s some combination of poor play, inexperience, scheme fit, injury and a simple numbers game that’s the deciding factor in whether you get cut or not.
One of the biggest areas of competition along the Cowboys roster this year is at wide receiver. With players like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer and Brice Butler all probably a lock to make the Cowboys active roster, it’s unclear if Dallas will have room for anyone else. Last season, the Cowboys only carried five wide receivers. Will 2017 be any different?
I think there are three candidates that could be considered for that sixth spot, if it even exists. Those receivers being Noah Brown, Andy Jones and Lance Lenior. All three have shown flashes in the preseason. And all three have their flaws. At this point, I think Lenior get the slight edge due to his special teams contributions. But it’s really close.
I also believe there will be some difficult choices made on defense. Especially at cornerback and safety. Former Texas corner Duke Thomas was a sleeper to make the Cowboys roster until he suffered an injury Saturday night. Now, I believe sixth rounder Marquez White gets the nod instead.
At safety, the choice appears to between Kavon Frazier, Xavier Woods and Robert Blanton. I believe Dallas will go with the younger players in Frazier and Woods over the 27-year old Blanton, although he has high special teams value.
Many of the roster decisions the Cowboys will make following their final preseason game against the Houston Texans on Thursday will be shaped by injuries and suspensions.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott (six-game ban) and defensive ends David Irving (four-game ban) and Damontre Moore (two-game ban) will start the season on the bench. None of three will count towards the 53-man roster until they return from suspension. But Dallas also have linebacker Damien Wilson and cornerback Nolan Carroll to consider, who could both receive their own bans soon due to offseason arrests.
Finally, injuries will play a part in the Cowboys upcoming roster decisions, as the team may decide to go a bit heavier at certain positions, like cornerback, linebacker and along their offensive line due to durability issues in those area.
Needless to say, this Dallas Cowboys’ front office and coaching staff have some tough choices to make in the coming days. All we can do is sit back and see how it all unfolds.