The Cowboys currently have exactly 90 players, the maximum allowed under NFL rules, on their offseason roster. As of today, the 90 Cowboys players are comprised as follows:
- 45 players returning from last season.
- 16 college free agents signed after the draft.
- 12 players signed as free agents since the end of the season.
- 9 players signed to reserve/future contracts earlier this year.
- 8 rookies drafted in the .
After the third preseason game, NFL roster rules require teams to cut down the roster to 75 players, and prior to the start of the NFL regular season, teams must cut further players to reach the roster limit of 53 players. That means the 90 players currently on the roster are in competition for 53 jobs. Sure, some of the 90 will be happy to simply make the practice squad, but almost every second player will get his walking papers at some point.
And with the roster the Cowboys have assembled this year, the competition for a spot on the 53-man roster could be a lot tougher than it's been in recent years. And that level of competition has the Cowboys excited, as Jason Witten talked remarked over the weekend:
"I'm excited to see how it plays out. I think more than anything: competition. Coach Garrett has tried to do a really good job of giving us competition and having us compete. We're all excited to see where it will go."
Last year, 16 new players made the Cowboys' opening day roster:
|Draft Pick||UDFA||Free Agent||Post June 1 Acquisition|
|Zack Martin||Davon Coleman||Rolando McClain||Jack Crawford|
|Anthony Hitchens||Tyler Patmon||Terrell McClain||Lavar Edwards|
|Devin Street||Dustin Vaughan||Jeremy Mincey|
Of those 16 players, four (so far) were one-and-done in Dallas.
Of the nine draft picks the Cowboys had in 2014, only four made the opening day 53-man roster. DeMarcus Lawrence missed the first eight games with a broken foot, Ben Gardner spent the season on IR, Ahmad Dixon and Terrance Mitchell were released outright, and Will Smith was on and off the practice squad all season.
The Cowboys initially signed 24 college free agents after last year's draft, and three UDFAs eventually ended up making the roster.
And the Cowboys remained active once they had set their initial 90-man roster last year. Between June 1 and opening weekend, they signed an additional 22 players, all of whom replaced a player previously on the roster, and only two of which remain on the 2015 roster.
With 45 players returning from last year, 45 new players currently on the roster, and more players expected to be signed in the coming months, competition for one of the 53 spots will be intense.
How many new faces do you expect on the Cowboys' opening-day roster this year?
Here's an overview of the new players currently on the roster. You can pick eight of them without having to release any of the players returning from 2014. If you want more than eight, you'll have to start releasing some 2014 veterans.
|Draft Pick||UDFA||Free Agent||Reserve/Future||Post May 12 Acquisition|
|Jones, Byron||Collins, La'el||Agnew, Ray||Boyd, Chris||Danny McCray|
|Gregory, Randy||Farmer, George||Brinkley, Jasper||Dill, R.J.|
|Green, Chaz||Goodley, Antwan||Collins, Jed||Dunn, Reggie|
|Wilson, Damien||Greenberry, Deontay||Gachkar, Andrew||Edwards, Lavar|
|Russell, Ryan||Days, Synjyn||Hardy, Greg||Johnson, Keelan|
|Nzeocha, Mark||Scott, Tim||Hornsey, Tom||Miller, Ryan|
|Gibson, Laurence||Hamilton, Ray||Kreiter, Casey||Steeples, Robert|
|Swaim, Geoff||Harwell, Nick||McFadden, Darren||Wetzel, John|
|McDermott, Shane||Obada, Efe||Williams, Ryan|
|Ross, Joel||Rivers, Keith|
|Showers, Jameill||White, Corey|