The roster cuts on Tuesday were the first in a couple of league-mandated steps designed to get all teams to finalize their rosters for opening day. The next step is due on Saturday, when teams are required to drop as many as 22 players by 6 p.m. ET to get down to the required 53-man roster size.
For football fans, the 53-man roster date often feels like the end of a long process. Just like the draft signals the end of a long process of evaluating college talent, with endless mock drafts, scouting profiles and draft strategies, the announcement of the 53-man roster often feels like the final chapter of a process to build an NFL team that stretched from free agency and the draft through rookie minicamp, OTAs and training camp, replete with endless iterations of 53-man roster projections.
But for NFL franchises, the announcement of the 53-man roster is just one date in a year-round process of acquiring, developing and retaining player talent for their team.
On the very next day, at noon ET on Sunday, the claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire, and teams can begin signing players to their eight-man practice squad.
If you thought the 53-man roster signaled some kind of end point, think again: There's bound to be a whirlwind of activity over the weekend as teams sort through the players other teams have released, in the hope of finding a few diamonds in the rough or patching roster holes. The Cowboys could be looking for guards and/or defensive linemen to bolster their roster, and if the past few years are any indication, chances are the newly minted Cowboys 53-man roster won't last for more than a couple of days.
Last year the Cowboys acquired center Ryan Cook on the day of final roster cuts in a trade with Miami, and claimed tight end Colin Cochart off of waivers a day later.
The year before, the Cowboys picked up FB Tony Fiammetta off waivers, released OG Montrae Holland, signed WR Laurent Robinson and added WR Andre Holmes and DT Rob Calloway to their practice squad in the week between final roster cuts and the opening game.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has repeatedly referred to talent acquisition as a process that does not start and end on any specific date but rather is a year-round process. Judging by the activity at this time over the last two years, the coming days could see the Cowboys making a number of roster moves beyond what is mandated by the league this weekend.
Prepare to revise your carefully crafted 53-man rosters repeatedly over the weekend and into next week, and stay tuned as we follow all the action here on BTB.