With the Dallas Cowboys trimming down their roster to fifty-three players, expect a few names who made it Saturday to not be here for practice on Tuesday.
Congratulations for making it through cut down day! You’re officially a member of the Dallas Cowboys… maybe?
Saturday was the day when all 32 NFL teams took their roster down to the fifty-three men they will take to battle with them each week. For the Dallas Cowboys, even though they like their roster, you can expect some additional moves.
Obviously, there are a lot of guys who are on the team who have nothing to worry about it. When you take a look at the guys who made the team, though, some may want to postpone any party they have may have planned.
Looking at who is on the team, I think it’s fair to assume the following five guys were the last to make it.
Tight end Rico Gathers is also on the squad. Unfortunately for him, he is likely heading to injured reserve due to a concussion, however. His spot, along with the five mentioned above could all be open for replacement.
The first thing to consider when analyzing if the Cowboys will churn the roster is which positions are in need of an upgrade. Brown made the team as a sixth receiver because he was too good to make it through cuts and come back. The Cowboys do not really need a sixth receiver, however.
Nzeocha and, to some degree, Thornton are the most easily replaceable. Frazier could be upgraded upon but is not a bad player. Green is on watch because he just cannot seem to stay healthy.
The next step is scouring the waiver wire and looking at other team’s cuts. I found a few interesting names, especially at linebacker and defensive line.
Marks is now three years removed from a fabulous year in Jacksonville where he put up 8.5 sacks before tearing his ACL in the final game. Howard’s best season was one year later when he posted 5.5 as Kansas City Chief. Hip injuries have been issues for Howard of late.
Moore has been a starter in 29 of 47 career games while Ayers has 58 career starts since 2011. Both qualify as “vested veterans” meaning that they are not subject to waivers and can essentially sign with any team who wants them. Both are also clear upgrades over Nzeocha.
At safety, Denver cut a three-time Pro Bowler in T.J. Ward. While he is definitely an upgrade over Frazier, there are no rumors that Dallas has any interest here.
While there are rumors coming from the Broncos front office that this move was strictly about football, the locker room does not seem to agree. In these cases, it is difficult to pick a side. Personally, I think Ward has a lot of football left in him.
Ultimately, this will come down to money. If Ward is okay with a “prove it” type deal, he may choose to come to Dallas. There is an additional bonus of the opportunity of playing his former team if he does. If he’s looking for one more pay day, he’ll likely need to look elsewhere.
Lastly, while it may seem too early to give up on Chaz Green, his presence is not really necessary. The Cowboys already have the best offensive line in football without him. Their backup players all have tremendous amounts of position flexibility as well.
Now consider that the Vikings just got rid of guard Alex Boone and things get real intriguing. As we know, there is a spot open at guard that has not been won yet. Plugging in a guy with 73 career starts since 2012 would not be too bad of an idea.
There is one last piece to consider here.
Two players, Damontre Moore and David Irving are not on the current 53 man roster due to suspensions. When they serve their time, someone will need to be let go to make room for them. Nzeocha and Thornton seem to be the most appropriate options if they somehow are not replaced in the next day or so.
Time will tell as to who will be in the building the next few days. One thing is for certain, however. This roster is far from final. The Cowboys always seem to be interested in churning the bottom of the roster and creating competition. For a few guys, they may take a deep breath, but they won’t be breathing easy.