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Cowboys 53-Man Roster: The Most Surprising Cuts & Moves By The Team

The cuts are in!

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have officially released their 53-man roster. It’s a lot of the usual suspects you expected to see, however, there were some things a lot of us didn’t see coming.

Here are the cuts & moves:


Deji Olatoye

For anyone that doesn’t think that the fourth preseason game means very much, don’t tell that to Olatoye. After flat out killing it in the previous three preseason games, the kid struggled mightily against the Texans on Thursday night. After our own Tom Ryle had him as his lock (okay, maybe I did, too), it appears that could have jinxed him.

It works out great for: Dax Swanson

The Cowboys instead will hold on to second-year player Dax Swanson. The kid has been playing well as of late, but where he has been turning heads the most is in the return game. Swanson has had a few nice kick returns this preseason, including breaking one off for a touchdown that was called back on a penalty.

Rod and Keith Smith

If you were torn between the which one of these players you liked the most, don’t fret. The Cowboys kept them both. While many people have argued whether even keeping a fullback is a good use of a roster spot, the Cowboys obviously believe it is. Both of these players have been doing a fine job in camp and have value on special teams. It still seems odd that the team would keep both of them. Could there be something in the works regarding a possible trade with another team or dropping one to add another player, are the Cowboys actually planning on rolling with Mr. and Mr. Smith?

It’s not so great for: Austin Traylor and Rico Gathers

The Cowboys are without James Hanna so it appeared like the team could keep Traylor around for his blocking ability. Then, there were some who felt the team would burn a roster spot just so they wouldn’t risk losing Gathers in case he was poached from the practice squad. Neither of these claims held much water as the team released both of these rookie tight ends.

Ryan Russell and Mike McAdoo

The hopes were high for second-year defensive end Ryan Russell this season as more opportunities could allow him to show what he’s capable of. Well, he got those opportunities but unfortunately he wasn’t able make it count. Russell has struggled during the preseason and it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when his name was left off the roster.

The lack of production from Russell opened the door for other players to have a shot to make the team and Mike McAdoo was looking like a good candidate and making some nice plays in the preseason. But the young edge rusher didn’t show enough as the team parted ways with him, too.

It works out great for: a bubble edge rusher from another team

The Cowboys are going to be on the prowl for other potential pass rushers, especially considering they will be severely short-handed due to their top guys being suspended. Hopefully, the team has a good option in mind for this spot, but until then - we will all just have to keep our fingers crossed that it’s somebody good.


Jameill Showers

This is a little alarming for Cowboys fans. Showers has had a rough preseason and another stint on the practice squad appeared to be the forecast. But sunnier days are here for Showers as he made the team. There has been a lot of talk about the Cowboys going shopping for QBs from other teams, and they reportedly found one in Mark Sanchez. So right now the Cowboys are settling in with Showers on the roster, but that could change.

Kavon Frazier

If you’re upset that J.J. Wilcox made the team, then you should at least take some comfort in the fact that he still has to look over his shoulder. The Cowboys went deeper than many expected and kept five safeties, which meant the sixth-round draft pick still has a job. Frazier played well this preseason and would show up here and there. He is still young and will continue to improve so you have to like the upside of keeping him around.

What cuts were you surprised to see? Did any of your pet cats make the team?

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