5 Cowboys veterans who could be left off the final roster

Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Linebacker Tarell Basham Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

Tarrell Basham, DE

Tarell Basham was expected to come in and become the third pass rusher or primary backup to presumed starting defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

An early injury slowed down his progress and could have quite possibly lost the role outright to defensive end Dorance Armstrong.

I left off Dorance Armstrong off my original 53 man roster and kept Basham and Bradlee Anae instead. I might have been right with the team keeping a veteran and a younger player but I could have just gotten the veteran wrong.

Dorance Armstong will more than likely make this team. That means the competition is between Basham and Anae.

I think Anae is dealing with a stacked deck and he will more than likely be the odd man out. This is especially true if the Cowboys only keep four defensive ends but I would love to keep all five guys on the team. If the team decides to go with four, money could become the tiebreaker.

Basham signed a two-year $5.5 million deal with $3.75 guaranteed. The team already paid out his $2.5 million signing bonus which makes this decision a hard one to digest. I like Basham and I think he could be entering a breakout season but that signing bonus looks to be a mistake.

Releasing Basham doesn’t give the Dallas Cowboys any salary cap relief but trading him splits the $2.5 million still owed to him making this the only option. I would rather carry Basham on the roster than release him for zero salary cap relief.

Basham has a comparatively smaller salary than those in the same position group but Basham is still being paid pretty well. Five million dollars after only showing flashes in his previous four seasons makes me feel like the team paid someone else’s, Dorance Armstrong.

In other words, Basham only has shown flashes and has yet to put it together.

Before you argue against me, Basham has played four seasons with 12 starts and 7.5 sacks. Nine of those sacks came last season when he played for the New York Jets. If you look at Dorance Armstrong, he has only started three games in his first three seasons just like Basham.

Basham had four sacks at the same point in his career while Armstong trails with 2.5 sacks to date. Basham is a nice project but there is a chance he ends up with his fourth team entering his fifth season.