The Dallas Cowboys will play in their “dress rehearsal” game this weekend and there are still many questions about the roster that need to be answered. Will they keep three quarterbacks? Is Rico Gathers making the squad? What is the secondary going to look like? With final roster cuts less than two weeks away, the writers here at BTB have updated our roster predictions. Here is a position-by-position break down of which players we believe will make the team.
And then there were two, as in - two people remaining who think Mike White will make the roster. He started with support across the board, but a few people jumped shipped after the first preseason game. Now, after another dismal showing, most everyone believes he’s just not worth allocating a roster spot for.
Tom Ryle: The team will risk getting White to the practice squad and use that space to add an extra safety.
David Howman: White has played himself off the roster and onto the practice squad.
Michael Strawn: White hasn’t shown enough to deserve a roster spot so I’m going with only two QBs.
Danny Phantom: This team was willing to hang on to Kellen Moore a lot longer than many fans wanted, so I don’t see them giving up on White so soon. They drafted him with the full intention of letting him develop. Don’t forget, the Cowboys kept Jameill Showers as their no. 3 quarterback just a couple years ago and White’s upside is far better.
Last week, RJ Ochoa was a one-man wolfpack when it came to giving Darius Jackson some love. After flashing some good runs against the Bengals on Saturday, three more people have jumped on the DJax wagon, however, RJ himself, has jumped back off.
Based on our picks, Bo Scarbrough still has the upper hand for that last RB roster spot, but things have gotten a little more interesting.
Connor Livesay is sticking to his guns and not putting camp standout Lance Lenoir on the roster.
Noah Brown made the roster as the sixth WR last season, but his lone supporter last week (Connor) is joining the rest of the group and keeping him off the team. It’s tough to earn a spot at a really competitive position group when you can’t get on the field.
OCC: I suspect that Deonte Thompson (Achilles) will enter the season on IR, so I have Lance Lenoir taking the sixth and final WR spot.
Michael Strawn: Lance Lenoir makes the team from a combination of special teams and receiving contributions. That means Deonte Thompson doesn’t make the cut.
Rico Gathers has one more supporter than he did last week thanks to OCC joining the party. There is not a player on this team that has caused so much divisiveness on whether he makes the team as Rico.
Michael Strawn: With only two quarterbacks on the roster, that frees up a space to keep four tight ends, meaning Rico makes the team. I think the low overall talent level at tight end plus the hint of possibility with Rico means they hold on to him.
Nobody was brave enough to give Chaz Green a vote as they feared being mocked in the comment section, and also because he’s terrible.
David Howman: Kadeem Edwards makes it for extra OL depth amid concerns with Frederick and Martin.
Tom Ryle refuses to give Kadeem Edwards any love, even with the Cowboys offensive line situation facing a little adversity. Instead, he thinks the team will look to the outside to find offensive line help. He’s not alone as OCC and Michael Strawn feel the same way as they both have the team going with nine offensive linemen.
Michael Strawn: The team’s OL injury issues means they go long there. In addition to Looney, Fleming and Edwards making the team I also think they’ll bring in someone else to give them nine bodies.
Last week, Kony Ealy had a 5 to 4 edge in the votes over Charles Tapper. While both have dropped, Ealy has lost the support of all five who had him making the team before. The free agent defensive end will now shift inside and see if he can fight for a roster spot at defensive tackle. He did have a nice pass batted-down pass against the Bengals and with the recent injury to Datone Jones, this could be the opening he needs to make the team.
David Howman: I removed Kony Ealy, since he’s really not doing much especially now that Gregory is back.
Brian Price had a good game on Saturday and he has now grabbed votes across the board.
Jihad Ward, on the other hand, hasn’t been playing all that well and no longer is a unanimous decision to make it.
Datone Jones’ chances to make the team was looking pretty good until a knee injury suffered against the Bengals will sideline him for the next few weeks. As a result, he’s lost support from a couple people.
The Cowboys signed a new defensive tackle this week - Caraun Reid and already he getting nods to crack the 53-man roster. With David Irving missing the beginning part of the season and with a couple other players nicked up, they may need the bodies to have the numbers. The Cowboys could also use some of their position flex at defensive end, like say - Tyrone Crawford, to help while players are out.
Tom Ryle: They will go with 5 DE and 5 DT to make room for Antwaun Woods.
OCC: I’m going with nine defensive linemen, which is a little short versus some other projections, but keep in mind that the Cowboys have gone into the season with just eight defensive linemen the last two years.
Not much has changed at the linebacker position, but a couple of us have had a change of heart about rookie Chris Covington.
David Howman: I took Covington off because we’re halfway through the preseason and he’s still not on the field; he’s a practice squad guy now.
Danny Phantom: My one and only change this week involves adding Covington back into the mix over the very blasé Justin March-Lillard. I had him over JML in our initial predictions, but a spell with bronchitis was keeping him off the field too much and I changed to March-Lillard. But Covington is back now. It’s not a lot of time, but I just have a hunch he’ll show the coaches enough to keep him around.
OCC: I’m keeping six guys, which means Chris Covington goes to the practice squad.
Last week, Duke Thomas and Charvarius Ward were neck-and-neck with four votes apiece, but now - Duke has taken a commanding lead.
Connor believes Donovan Olumba will sneak on the team as the team’s fifth corner.
Undrafted free agent Tyree Robinson is making a strong push to join the safety group. He had a solid game against the Bengals and is starting to demonstrate more consistent play in practice.
Tom Ryle: I added Tyree Robinson because they seem to like him.
David Howman: Tyree Robinson makes it now with uncertainty at safety (unless someone gets added to the team).
OCC: I’m keeping Tyree Robinson as my fourth safety for now, I expect him to be replaced by a free agent signing.
Dave Halprin: With the uncertainty surrounding Xavier Woods’ injury, Kris Richard needs someone who knows the system and can play special teams. Jeron Johnson is a player quite familiar with Richard and his scheme, he makes it for the early run until Woods has recovered fully.
Finally, we can all agree on something!