In case you’re of the opinion that the Dallas Cowboys need defensive help (so basically if you’re a person) then you’re in for some good news, Damontre Moore is eligible to return from suspension this week.
Here’s the thing, though. The Cowboys currently have 53 players on their 53-man roster (crazy I know), and a 54th isn’t allowed. They’ll need to release someone in order to make room for someone who will hopefully significantly aid their pass rush.
Who will be the odd man out? Let’s discuss some potential options (in alphabetical order).
The Cowboys traded for Benwikere during the final hours of their initial 53-man roster construction. He’s some nice veteran depth in terms of their defensive backfield, and they need that more than ever now.
Why do they need it more than ever? Chidobe Awuzie and Nolan Carroll were both taken out of the loss to the Broncos due to injuries (hamstring and concussion, respectively). While Bene might’ve been expendable before, he wasn’t active for the game, his value may have risen throughout that game.
From a health standpoint the Cowboys can only count on Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis right now, but Orlando Scandrick could be back soon and we await word on the two lost in Denver. Bene might be safe for now.
Dallas activated Brown for the first time ever against the Broncos. He was used sparingly, but the seventh-round pick is obviously valued by the Cowboys as they have kept him on the roster all this time.
Given what they saw defensively against Denver, the Cowboys might now be willing to try and get Noah Brown on their practice squad. Carrying six receivers didn’t do them a whole lot of good in their loss, and that’s considering Dak Prescott threw the ball 50 times.
If the Cowboys really are sold on Noah Brown, then maybe they’ll make a release with a different wide receiver. The most expendable might be Brice Butler.
Butler is someone who I’m a believer in, but he’s had two costly drops in as many games (although he did have an amazing lay-out catch against the Giants). A lot of this revolves around how the team feels about Terrance Williams’ injury and if they really do need this depth, but it’s still a potential option.
If you take a look at the defensive snap counts from the Giants game, Justin Durant was easily the lowest man on the totem pole with a whopping two.
The truth is that Durant is the least-used Cowboys linebacker, and considering Anthony Hitchens could return sooner rather than later, that makes him also expendable.
Anthony Hitchens hinting that he could be back playing for the #Cowboys soon. (h/t @AnthonyHitchens Instagram) pic.twitter.com/7DNHaTZwt1— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 17, 2017
Jaylon Smith’s game in Denver didn’t feel as impressive as the performance he had against the Giants, so maybe the Cowboys are still hesitant to cut bait with Durant. Either way, this move makes a lot of sense if you’re looking for one to make.
Bene Benwikere wasn’t the only player that the Cowboys traded for before the roster deadline. They went out and acquired another linebacker in the form of Jay Elliott.
At the time this felt a lot like extra Anthony Hitchens insurance. This was in a world before Jaylon Smith had played two regular season games and potentially more optimistic news on Anthony Hitchens.
Elliott does have the least amount of experience in the Cowboys scheme and playbook, so it’s understandable if that’s who the they choose to part ways with.
This feels like one of the least likely potential options, but McFadden hasn’t been active in either of the first two games so it is by definition a legitimate option.
There’s still a lot of unknown when it comes to what’s going to happen with Ezekiel Elliott, and it’s probably worth holding on to DMC until full clarity is had. But again, it’s worth noting that Darren McFadden has been a healthy scratch so far this season.
Dallas may swap out a Moore with another one, but if we’re being honest this is probably even less likely than Darren McFadden. The Cowboys have shown a high level of insistence when it comes to keeping Kellen on their roster.
The fact remains though, that they’ve already released Kellen Moore once since roster construction began. They could go back to that well if they choose to do so.
What say you, BTB? Who do you think is the odd man out in favor of Damontre Moore?
Who will the Cowboys release to make room for Damontre Moore?
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