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How Many New Players Will There Be On The 2017 Cowboys Roster?

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Making the Cowboys final roster this year may prove a little more difficult than it has been in recent years.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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 players signed to reserve/future contracts earlier this year.
  • 14 college free agents signed after the draft.
  • 9 rookies drafted in the 2017 NFL draft.
  • 6 players signed as free agents since the end of the season.
  • 2 suspended player who don't count against the 90-mn roster limit

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, something that Lucky Whitehead remarked on just this week:

"They’re always bringing in competition," Whitehead said. "I’ve never been a person to fade away from competition. I look forward to helping and learning. I’m all for competition and competing."

Last year, 14 new players made the Cowboys' opening day roster:

Draft Pick Free Agent Post June 1 Acquisition UDFA
Ezekiel Elliott Cedric Thornton
Justin Durant - -
Maliek Collins Benson Mayowa
Mark Sanchez
Charles Tapper Alfred Morris
Dax Swanson
Dak Prescott Joe Looney
Anthony Brown
Kavon Frazier
Darius Jackson

Of those 14 players, four (so far) were one-and-done in Dallas.

Of the nine draft picks the Cowboys had in 2016, seven made the opening day 53-man roster. Jaylon Smith spent the season on IR, and Rico Gathers spent the season on the practice squad. Both are expected to make the roster this year.

The Cowboys initially signed 14 college free agents after last year's draft, none of which ended up making the roster, though WR Andy Jones and CB Jeremiah McKinnon made it to this year's 90-man offseason roster.

And once the Cowboys had set their initial 90-man roster last year, they remained active. Between June 1 and opening weekend, they signed an additional 19 players, all of whom replaced a player previously on the roster. Only one of those players, Zach Wood, remains on the current 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?