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More Analysis Of The Cowboys 53 Man Roster And Practice Squad

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Lance Dunbar did not make the Active/Inactive roster, but don't be surprised if he shows up before the end of the season.
Lance Dunbar did not make the Active/Inactive roster, but don't be surprised if he shows up before the end of the season.

With the Active/Inactive list of the Dallas Cowboys, more commonly known as the 53 man roster, now set in Jell-O, there are some conclusions, or more accurately, suppositions that can be made about what the team is up to this year. The current composition of the practice squad also indicates a few things. (At least to my febrile imagination.)

Related: Cowboys Sign TE Cochart, Get Everyone They Wanted Onto The Practice Squad

The first thing is what cutting Stephen McGee to sign TE Colin Cochart means. Most focus on the fact that the Cowboys have finally given up on trying to make a legitimate NFL quarterback out of the much maligned McGee, but it also seems to show that the team needs to be able to run two tight end sets. Cochart is insurance against Jason Witten not being ready for the opener against the New York Giants, but he is likely more than that. The team is looking for depth at tight end, and Cochart has a reputation as a good blocker. Bryan Broaddus has a nice film review up of him at

What he brings is a big body at the point of attack that is used to playing along the line. Not going to beat you with his hands but how he is able to block.

While this may inspire uncomfortable memories of Martellus Bennett, note that Cochart is the fourth TE, not the number two. And nowhere does it say that he is as clumsy with the ball as MartyB could be.

Speaking of 'tellus, he did have one comment lately that I have to pass along.

Everyone has moments of clarity.

More attempts to read the tea leaves after the jump.

The desire to have two tight ends on the field also dovetails into Jason Garrett's desire to establish a running game. In light of that, I thought it was interesting that both Lance Dunbar and Jamize Olawale were signed to the practice squad. With the 2011 season fresh in mind, when all three of the current running backs on the squad missed time due to injury, this looks to be an attempt to have spares stashed there. If a replacement is needed, the team has someone who knows the playbook so it does not have to rely on a street body. Also, the chance of both Dunbar and Olawale getting signed to some other team's Active/Inactive roster is very remote, so the Cowboys can be fairly confident they have the solution to injuries at this position already in place, and Olawale also could fill in for Lawrence Vickers in a pinch.

Danny Coale and Tim Benford serve the same function for wide receiver, for the same reasons. Right now, the odds would favor Coale and Dunbar as being the two practice squad members with the best chance of making it to the 53 man roster before the end of the season.

I am a bit surprised that there is no third quarterback anywhere on the roster. I don't look for that situation to last long. What I don't know is which way they will go. If they sign one for the 53, it would seem likely that Cochart would be the likely player to be cut. If the team finds one they like for the practice squad, you might notice that they have doubled up at RB, WR and DL. Best bets for a cut to make room would be Benford, Olawale, and either Robert Callaway or Ben Bass.

One thing that puzzled many was why Adrian Hamilton did not get signed to the practice squad. He wound up on the Baltimore Raven's PS. There apparently are two different versions of what happened. Josh Ellis at has the prevalent storyline in his article on it.

Linebacker Adrian Hamilton, who had 20.5 sacks at Prairie View A&M in 2011, joined the Baltimore practice squad on Saturday, according to Ravens insider Aaron Wilson. The Cowboys did not attempt to sign Hamilton to their own eight-man practice roster, instead keeping only one linebacker, Orie Lemon.

However, Matt Mosley of Fox Sports Southwest gave a different account on Twitter.

Don't know what the real story is here, or why there are different takes, but the guys at the mothership usually don't get that kind of stuff wrong.

Finally, my nominee for the current member of the current roster most likely to be replaced is Derrick Dockery. I believe he is almost certainly a placeholder until the team finds a better option.


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