The Dallas Cowboys couldn't keep every talented player on their initial 53-man roster. There's simply not enough spots and too many roster gymnastics that need to be performed for every promising young player to stick around.
That said, all of Cowboys Nation wanted the team to keep Isaiah Land on the roster. When news broke that Land didn't make the cut and would be exposed to waivers, fans pivoted and hoped he'd get re-signed to the practice squad.
Some beat reporters projected Land to make the team. Not because he would have an immediate role in Dallas' stacked pass-rush rotation, but because his upside is so high that it didn't seem likely that the front office would risk losing him to the waiver wire.
When push came to shove, Land was claimed by the Colts. It's no surprise given how Land performed in preseason, but Cowboys fans are furious.
Cowboys fans need to relax about losing Isaiah Land to waivers
Does losing Land stink? No doubt. He would've given the Cowboys a young pass rusher to develop for the future when they move on from current veterans. Speaking of which, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler are free agents next year.
That being said, Dallas' pass rush group is one of the deepest in the NFL.
It's one of the (many) reasons folks believe the Cowboys have a championship-level defense. They weren't going to trade or release Fowler or Armstrong to make room for a rookie who likely needs a year on the practice squad before he's ready to make an impact.
That's not to say the Cowboys didn't value Land, but it makes sense to use that roster spot on a player who'll suit up on Sunday's. With the DE room at full strength, the former Florida A&M star would've been a healthy scratch more often than not.
It'd be a different story if Land had the size to play linebacker, but Dan Quinn recognized he's best suited on the edge and he thrived in preseason as a result. In three games, Land logged 10 pressures and seven hurries, per PFF.
ESPN's Todd Archer brings up a great point.
Losing Land isn't ideal by any stretch, but let's not pretend like he was the future of the edge rusher room. Micah Parsons and Sam Williams -- if he gets his ducks in a row -- are expected to assume that mantle.
The Cowboys could always reunite with Land, but odds are they'll find another talented pass rusher through the draft or the undrafted free agent pool by the time the front office is ready to get younger at the position.