The first round of roster cuts is scheduled for August 30, so there are still about two weeks left for players to make a case for a roster spot. More importantly, there are two more preseason games left before the first cuts are made, and the performance in real live action could trump training camp performance in the final evaluation.
At the same time, the players have gone through OTAs, almost four weeks of training camp and one preseason game - it's probably fair to assume that the coaches already have a pretty good handle on what their roster will look like.
The first round of roster cuts requires teams to reduce their roster from 90 to 75 players, which means there will be 15 Cowboys players who'll be asked to hand over their playbooks on August 30, possibly a little less if the Cowboys don't completely fill up their 90-man roster by then. There are unlikely to be any noteworthy names in this group, in fact, it's likely that none of the players released during first cuts will make it to the season-opening practice squad. But these are significant cuts nonetheless.
The easiest cuts will probably the most recent additions to the roster, but the Cowboys still have to play the fourth preseason game after the cutdown to 75 players. So the cuts will have to be made with a view to maintaining at least some depth along the entire roster, and the Cowboys can't just go and cut all backup defenders and be done with it.
With that in mind, here's a look at which 15 players may find themselves at the very bottom of the Dallas Cowboys totem pole.
|Brown, Chris||WR||His broken foot will most likely mean an injury settlement and a release.|
|Smith, Rodney||WR||The Cowboys have a glut of quality wide receivers and they'll have to let some go.|
|Witzmann, Bryan||OT||The Cowboys depth at offensive tackle doesn't look good, but neither of these two adds anything to the picture.|
|Hepburn, Brandon||LB||The Cowboys still have eight linebackers (excluding Jaylon Smith and Rolando McClain) after releasing these two, and they'll probably need to cut at least two more.|
|Stiverson, Boston||OG||He joined the Cowboys as a UDFA right after the draft, but his ride is over.|
|Mullaney, Richard||WR||Last in, first out: The Cowboys' most recent signing will be one of the first to go|
|Okoye, Lawrence||DE||Olympian or not, you can't make the club in the tub. Okoye did not play in the first preseason game and hasn't practiced since August 9. That does not bode well.|
|Frey, Isaiah||CB||The team starts thinning out the cornerbacks, and still has seven left after cutting Frey, Swanson, and Calquhoun. That's plenty.|
|Wood, Zach||DE||The Cowboys like Wood, and they've been trying to find a spot for him at both DE and DT, but it came down to him or Shaneil Jenkins, and Jenkins showed more in the first preseason game.|
|Wile, Matt||K||He'll spell Bailey for the next two weeks, but then it's goodbye.|
The list is evenly split between defense (7) and offense (7), but the Cowboys might go in a different direction if they feel they have enough depth at a given position.
Agree or disagree with the choices? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.