clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys vs. Vikings: Offensive roster battles

The last preseason game. After tonight, the next time our Dallas Cowboys hit the field it will be for real. Yes, we are that close to actually starting the 2008 NFL season. We aren’t there yet though, we still have the last preseason game to complete and for the top of the roster it’s an opportunity to play dress up and not actually do anything, but for the bottom of the roster tonight means everything. Soon the Cowboys will have to get down to the 53-man roster limit meaning tonight will be the last time we ever see some players in a Cowboys uniform.

So what’s tonight all about? Roster battles.

Offense

QB - Richard Bartel vs. the practice squad. The Cowboys are deciding between three QB’s or just two. Bartel will get the whole game to prove his worth. My estimation is he probably can’t do enough in this game to stop the inevitable. Dallas enters the season injured and unsure about when they will have full health. They need extra players elsewhere. They are banking that they won’t get Matt Moore-ed by another team and that they can move Bartel to the practice squad. An eye-opening game tonight may sway that opinion, but the odds are not in his favor to make the roster.

RB – I’ve always contended they’ll keep three and I still believe that. Keon Lattimore and Alonzo Coleman haven’t forced their hand, one will probably make the PS.

FB – Julius Crosslin is still hanging around but hasn’t shown enough to make the Cowboys keep him. They decide to go short at FB to open the season with only Deon Anderson.

WR – Now this is tricky. It all depends on what they really think will happen with Isaiah Stanback and whether they think Miles Austin’s injury is a four-week deal or six. They need six WR’s to start the year unless the news on Austin and Stanback is so good and absolute, that they can revert to the philosophy from the beginning of camp; they were going to keep five and a sixth would have to force their way on the roster. I don’t think that’s the case right now, so Danny Amendola and Mike Jefferson have an opportunity here. I still think a vet signing is going to happen after league cuts, so even if they kept both, one may be gone within a week or so. I have Amendola slightly ahead of Jefferson at this point, mainly because of special teams work. Amendola has been playing on a lot of the units and has shown a little something along with his mistakes. Jefferson as a receiver can get open, his problem is catching the ball consistently and he’s doesn’t contribute much besides being a WR. Todd Lowber is still too raw and a mythical creation of Hard Knocks. (Because I wrote that, he’ll catch two TD’s tonight, it’s a given).

TE – The only possible question is keeping Rodney Hannah as a fourth TE and going long at a position to supplement the lack of FB’s, or go with three like normal. I don’t think Hannah has shown enough, he’s not special on special teams and he probably can’t block out of the backfield or handle other important TE jobs. He’s tall and athletic, but young and inexperienced, and we already have that guy in Martellus Bennett, and his upside is higher and was a second round pick.

OL – All eyes will be on Pat McQuistan and Joe Berger. Tonight is the final interview for the job of replacing Kyle Kosier for the first quarter of the season. Cory Procter is also in the mix but I think its McQ or Berger. Figuring out who it will be is the most important thing tonight, but the Cowboys need to decide if they will keep nine or ten offensive linemen. We know the starting five when Kosier is back, and we pretty much know that McQ or Berger will fill-in with the other being kept just in case. That gives you seven. Doug Free isn’t going anywhere, that’s eight, and Procter is the only true backup center giving you nine. That leaves James Marten and I don’t think the Cowboys want to give up on him yet and with the shifting around of the line because of Kosier, they probably hang on to him for insurance at this point.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys