There were five moves made, of varying significance, since I last updated the roster builder. The first was the release of guard DJ Hall. Hall was brought onto the roster most likely to replace Charlie Bryant, a guard who was only talented enough to make it through a single day of rookie minicamp before quitting the team.
Hall was probably never going to be the Cowboys' salvation on the offensive line. He may, however, still make it back onto the team at some point in order to become a younger, more promising version of, say, Derrick Dockery. We don't want to see either of them logging snaps in real games, but at least with Hall he may develop into something more - while being cheaper, too.
Hall's release cleared the way for Anthony Hargrove. At 6'3 and 280+ lbs, Hargrove seems built to plug-and-play at the 3-tech for the Cowboys this year. There's been some confusion on that point, as the residual cobwebs from years in a 3-4 have many believing interior linemen need to be at least 300 lbs, but, I'll remind you, speed trumps size in Marinelli's scheme. Hargrove stands to be a significant contributor if he has maintained his previous form, as adding a body to the defensive line's rotation - especially one with NFL starting experience - helps to keep every player fresh and performing at a high level throughout the game. I'm willing to overlook his supposed character flaws - as none of them strike me as preventing him from competing game in, game out, and working to improve this team.
The Cowboys followed that player swap with another shortly after. The 91st man this time around was Dustin Harris from Texas A&M. I'll admit to being one of many who was intrigued by Harris' potential in the return game. I can't make a whole lot of sense out of why he was released this early in the offseason, so I'll just throw out some theories:
1) The Cowboys couldn't deal with a competition between DU HARRIS and DW HARRIS for the same special teams roles.
2) The Cowboys' staff is familiar with the goatmouth, and realized that keeping an Aggie on the roster through camp would seriously jeapordize his future.
3) Dustin himself was aware of said goatmouth and demanded his release.
4) Unbeknownst to Dustin, the Cowboys, and the rest of the world, the goatmouth had already claimed Dustin Harris, and we're just now seeing the aftermath.
Replacing Dustin Harris is another corner: Malik 'Fig' James. I can't come up with any evidence to suggest James is more prepared than Harris to play corner in camp, but it seems that superior speed won in a battle between two corners that lack refinement. I don't mind the Cowboys picking up every track star to ever sniff the football field, as long as they keep doing it the way they have with Raymond Radway, Teddy Williams, Saalim Hakim, and now Malik James (which is to say: with little to no risk involved).
The final move, and likely most impactful, was the restructuring of Doug Free's deal into a much more team-friendly figure (though it also works out for Free by increasing the amount of money he'll keep if cut this year, virtually guaranteeing he stays with the team another year to redeem himself). Those who were painfully close to the cap ceiling while using the roster builder will likely note a significant improvement in wiggle room.
And Finally, the Updated Roster Builder
There's a minor tweak to the interaction with the roster builder this time around. Have you ever felt that the 'cut' button was inconveniently placed? Me, too! So I've decided not to move it. Instead, when highlighting a player, you can now use the 'x' or 'delete' keys to cut him without worrying about scrolling to the button.
There are also some minor visual tweaks. I was compelled to start moving away from the birth-of-the-internet style table I was using, and hope you'll enjoy the aesthetic changes. If the table uses 'Arial' font, it's because you don't have 'SketchFlow Print' installed.
Dallas Cowboys Interactive Roster Builder