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The Cowboys made unconventional roster choices. Here’s what they mean

By David Helman
FOX Sports Dallas Cowboys Writer

We knew the Cowboys had been going to get difficult, however they’ve outdone themselves.

On a roster stocked with younger, creating expertise, the Cowboys’ entrance workplace mind belief went out of its strategy to keep away from danger throughout Tuesday’s roster cuts. As the NFL’s deadline to achieve a 53-man roster approached, Dallas parted methods with a number of veteran gamers.

The reasoning is clear, as we have been over on this house on a number of events throughout the preseason. Vested veterans, who’ve accrued three or extra seasons within the league, may be launched and re-signed with out going via the NFL waiver wire. Rookies and different younger gamers should cross via that system, enabling them to be claimed by the 31 different groups earlier than they revert to free company.

With all that being mentioned, it is apparent the Cowboys plan to do plenty of work on their roster within the coming days, as they settle in for the beginning of the common season.

Let’s have a look via the roster and attempt to decide what comes subsequent.

QB: Dak Prescott

The Cowboys’ roster finagling seems to be most evident at quarterback, the place Dak Prescott is at the moment the one man with a job. We spent a month hand-wringing concerning the backup battle between Cooper Rush and Will Grier, and the entrance workplace finally determined to chop each gamers.

That would not mean something simply but. Rush is vested and may re-sign at any time when. And whereas Grier does must cross via waivers, there is not any assure he’ll be claimed after solely enjoying in two preseason video games. Look for no less than certainly one of these guys to return again to the fold, and it is possible that each may return.

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RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle

Nothing fascinating to report. The high two had been givens, and Rico Dowdle bought the nod because the third working again, as anticipated. Malik Davis has been waived regardless of a powerful camp. If he is not claimed by one other staff, search for him on the Cowboys’ follow squad.

WR: CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, James Washington, Jalen Tolbert, Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko, KaVontae Turpin, Dennis Houston

Dennis Houston finally did sufficient to earn a roster spot. That’s the most important takeaway, because the Cowboys stored a whopping eight receivers. It will not keep that approach, although. Washington will likely be moved to injured reserve this week, the place he can proceed to rehabilitate his damaged foot. Gallup is not totally wholesome simply but, though Cowboys proprietor and normal supervisor Jerry Jones mentioned Tuesday morning that the veteran could be gearing as much as play if the Super Bowl was subsequent week, quite than the season opener.

Best guess is that Tolbert, the rookie third-round draft choose, and longtime backup Noah Brown be a part of Lamb within the beginning lineup in opposition to Tampa Bay. But it’s going to be fascinating to see how offensive coordinator Kellen Moore incorporates speedy return man Turpin into the offense.

TE: Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot

Hendershot, the undrafted rookie out of Indiana, picked the very best time attainable to have a great week. Not solely did he play nicely within the preseason finale, however his breakout social gathering got here on the identical time that veterans Jeremy Sprinkle and Sean McKeon had been sidelined by accidents.

Don’t be shocked if McKeon, or one other tight finish, winds up on the follow squad. But the younger duo of Ferguson and Hendershot had been spectacular sufficient to persuade the Cowboys to go very gentle on the place.

OL: Tyron Smith, Connor McGovern, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, Terence Steele, Tyler Smith, Matt Farniok, Matt Waletzko, Josh Ball

Much like receiver, we’ll see some change right here. For starters, Tyron Smith will likely be headed to injured reserve after that unlucky knee harm simply final week. All indicators level towards Tyler Smith taking on at left sort out. But the Cowboys’ sort out depth seems to be awfully skinny, and the sensible cash suggests they’ll discover a approach so as to add a veteran within the coming days.

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With Farniok providing versatility between guard and heart, the inside seems to be respectable sufficient. But I’d be shocked if the Cowboys begin the season with out including veteran depth outdoors.

DL: DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Sam Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., Tarell Basham, Osa Odighizuwa, Neville Gallimore, Quinton Bohanna, Chauncey Golston, Trysten Hill, John Ridgeway

It says loads concerning the depth of this group that certainly one of final 12 months’s starters, Carlos Watkins, was launched on cutdown day. It was anticipated that the Cowboys would go heavy with this place, however 11 is much more choices than many anticipated. Keeping Basham provides them an additional insurance coverage coverage for DeMarcus Lawrence, whereas Trysten Hill arguably performed his approach onto the roster with a powerful coaching camp.

LB: Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch, Anthony Barr, Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford, Devin Harper

These are the sorts of selections you can also make if you solely maintain one quarterback. Those further roster spots may be given to guys like Gifford and Harper. The frequent logic was the entrance workplace would solely be capable to maintain one, however they discovered a strategy to maintain each.

DB: Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, DaRon Bland, Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Donovan Wilson, Israel Mukuamu, Markquese Bell

Not a lot to see right here, as this group shook out precisely the best way most thought. The Cowboys have a secondary stuffed with strong veteran starters, with a handful of promising younger draft picks for depth. Bland deserves point out for outplaying Joseph and Wright all through camp. It’s additionally spectacular that Bell lived as much as the hype of being this summer time’s most talked-about undrafted free agent, delivering on the thrill by making the roster. Don’t be shocked to see longtime particular teamer C.J. Goodwin re-sign sooner or later earlier than preparations start for Tampa Bay.

ST: Bryan Anger

Two extra roster spots created out of skinny air. Brett Maher and Jake McQuaide are going to be on this staff, however it price the Cowboys nothing to chop them and they can re-sign later this week. When all the opposite roster maneuvering is completed, these two needs to be again within the fold.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports. He beforehand spent 9 seasons masking the Cowboys for the staff’s official web site. In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” concerning the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Follow him on Twitter @davidhelman_.

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