Each week the Dallas Cowboys can only dress 46 players from the 53-man roster. The NFL does this to allot for injuries to where a team at full health doesn’t have the advantage of more usable players over a team that is banged up. It helps keep it fair. As a result, the coaches are faced with the decision of determining which players they want to suit up. If a player is injured, then that’s an easy decision. But for those who are not, those decisions are not easy and coaches are forced to determine who will be the healthy scratches.
Here are last week’s seven inactives for the Cowboys courtesy of NFL.com:
Both Anthony HItchens and Jourdan Lewis were dealing with injuries, but the other five players were healthy scratches.
Here is the latest Cowboys injury report courtesy of the Mothership:
Perusing through the injury report, there are two easy ones to call here - Hitchens and Orlando Scandrick. Hitchens will be inactive for several weeks as he recovers from his knee injury he suffered in the preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. As R.J. Ochoa reported on Friday, Scandrick has been ruled out with a wrist injury.
Both Byron Jones (groin) and Terrance Williams (ankle) are listed as questionable and practiced in limited fashion on Friday. They could be a game time decision.
Here are my predictions for the Cowboys seven inactives:
Out due to injury
Out due to injury
Nothing has changed so whatever the coaches were thinking regarding the backup quarterback situation last week, should still be the case this week.
This came as a surprise to me last week. Cooper went from a possible starting left guard candidate to inactive in a matter of a few weeks. The team has a lot of confidence in Chaz Green and after last week’s performance, I’m starting to understand why.
These guards didn't allow a single pressure in Week 1 pic.twitter.com/xoInpvtIaa— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 15, 2017
If you’re keeping score at home, out of those 15 guards listed, only four of them are in the NFC. And it just so happens that half of those are the two that are starting for the Cowboys. As our own Tom Ryle discussed, most of the NFL has offensive line problems, but the Cowboys are enjoying their riches.
For now, Green appears to be the answer at LG. Joe Looney is the reserve guard and Byron Bell gets to dress because the team needs a swing tackle. That leaves Cooper on the outs.
There are two lines of thought here. First, the Cowboys are taking it week by week and will make their RB decision based on the matchup. For the Giants game, a running back that can get to the hole quick was desired and that could be why they went with Alfred Morris. Or, Morris is just seen as the better RB right now so he gets the nod. Even if it’s the latter, that still doesn’t mean things can’t change. Both these running backs are good options and having to deactivate a former 1,000 yard rusher is a good situation to have.
The Cowboys traded away a sixth-round conditional draft pick in 2019 to acquire Benwikere from the Bengals. He’s added insurance at the bottom of the depth chart so should the Cowboys find themselves in need of a player at that position - he could be activated. While the team is down Scandrick, they get Jourdan Lewis back so they have the same amount of corners available as they did last week.
Like Benwikere, the Cowboys traded another late-round conditional pick as insurance to acquire the rights to Elliott. Last week, Elliott was active and played on one special teams snap. That’s not a good use of resources and unless the Cowboys have other plans, making him inactive wouldn’t hinder the team.
Next week the team gets Damontre Moore back and Elliott could be the roster casualty to make room for him. Both Elliott and Benwikere were traded for conditional picks and if those conditions are based on how many times they are on the Cowboys active roster, making them inactive could save the team a late-round draft pick.
With Scandrick and J. Elliott the new names making the inactive list, that opens the door for two new players to be active. Jourdan Lewis will obviously be one of them as fans will get their first look at the rookie corner. Another rookie, Noah Brown, might also make his NFL debut. If there are concerns about Terrance William’s mobility, the team could have Brown available just in case. Brice Butler also had an ankle injury earlier in the week and although he is good to go now, you never know if he’s at risk to re-injure it.
Who do you think will be this weeks inactives?