Cowboys’ 53-man roster prediction ahead of final roster cuts
By Randy Gurzi
Leighton Vander Esch
Dallas often uses just two linebackers on their base defense while often going with a third safety. That’s one of the reasons they go thin here, the other is due to not wanting to release a cornerback who would surely be snatched up if waived.
The top linebacker is Micah Parsons and he’s also the best player on this defense. As a rookie, he had 13 sacks and won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He’s looking to take another step forward in his progress, and if he does, he will be a superstar in no time.
Leighton Vander Esch returned on a one-year deal and he’s looked refocused in camp. He’s determined to prove he’s not a bust and even if this is his final year in Dallas, he’s looking to cash in during 2023 free agency.
Former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Anthony Barr joined the team late and should be in a rotation with Vander Esch — he will also be on the field when they do go with three linebackers. It will be interesting to see if he does enough to keep Jabril Cox on the sidelines. The second-year player looks ready for an expanded role this season and has a nose for the football.
The final spot comes down to Luke Gifford and Devin Harper. In this prediction, Gifford gets the nod since he’s been solid on special teams. If Harper clears waivers, they would love to put him on the practice squad.
Damone Clark on IR