clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eight potential targets for the Cowboys to add to their 53-man roster

The Cowboys aren’t done building their roster.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Dallas Cowboys have made their initial cutdown to the 53-man roster, it’s time to look ahead at the second go around. Almost no team will stay put with what they did today, everyone will be looking to claim players off the waiver wire, sign free agents or make some kind of trade to strengthen their roster. Here are eight potential targets for the Cowboys, plus some bonus ones.

S TJ Green - Colts

The Cowboys are still thin at safety with Xavier Woods hurting and no Earl Thomas trade materializing. It’s a position they may certainly be looking at to add help. If they don’t try to pull off some kind of trade, they could target someone like T.J. Green. He was let go by the Colts.

Green was a second-round pick in 2016 out of Clemson, known for his immense physical tools. With the Colts, however, he became best known for penalties and missed tackles. Green made 85 tackles in 31 games (11 starts) in two seasons with the Colts.

He had been running as a backup most of camp but suffered a hamstring injury in the third preseason game. He and the team can come to terms on an injury settlement or he would revert to injured reserve if he passes through waivers.

S Darian Thompson - Giants

Another potential safety comes from division rival New York. Darian Thompson started for the Giants last year.

Free safety Darian Thompson started 16 games last season. He’s no longer on the roster, waived-injured instead on cut-down day. The Giants had a tough decision with their 2016 third-round pick because he had missed a good portion of the summer with a hamstring injury. Curtis Riley was already considered the starter at free safety alongside Landon Collins, but he has never started an NFL game. Thompson is now gone and so is Andrew Adams, who was also waived after inexplicably being buried this summer. Adams started 14 games as a rookie in 2016.

C Travis Swanson - Jets

The Cowboys are still without an experienced center behind Joe Looney. Zack Martin could be the emergency guy, but then they would have to turn to a backup at guard. They could pick up a veteran center like Travis Swanson who has started 42 games over four years.

Swanson was limited to 11 games due to knee and ankle injuries as well as a late season concussion. 2017 was the second consecutive campaign Swanson ended with a concussion. There aren’t many stats to use at the center position, but the general consensus I have found from people who [cover] the Lions was that 2017 was a disappointing year for Swanson after a promising 2016.

C TJ Johnson - Bengals

As mentioned above, a pure backup center to Joe Looney might be nice to have. Johnson would be familiar to offensive line coach Paul Alexander.

Following the conclusion of the 2013 season, he signed a futures contract and participated in four games, playing eleven total snaps between special teams and offense. In 2015, he became a regular member of the special teams squad, playing 43 special teams snaps in addition to 16 offensive snaps at center spread over a dozen games.

In 2016, Johnson participated in all 16 regular season games, playing 99 offensive snaps (with 62 of those coming at left guard in the season finale) and 70 special teams snaps.

Last year, Johnson’s offensive snaps jumped to 236 thanks to starting four games at right guard in Weeks 2-5 before being demoted to the backup center role, and also kept his duties as a special teams player.

RB Donnell Pumphrey - Eagles

The Cowboys only have two true running backs on the roster with Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith. They may be looking for a third. We know they had an interest in Donnell Pumphrey in the draft when he came out, and word is he was getting some work as a slot guy, pumping up his value as a pass-catching back.

Pumphrey struggled in the preseason last year as he battled a hamstring injury. He opened the season on injured reserve, and remained there even as he was fully healed by October.

He missed most of this preseason with another hamstring issue.

Now, he departs having never played an NFL regular season snap.

CB DeShawn Shead - Lions

The Lions were looking at Shead as a possible starter this offseason when they signed him as a free agent. The Cowboys only have four corners on the roster, they'll likely add a fifth. Shead has started 22 games with Seattle.

He was brought in to compete with Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor for the starting corner spot opposite Darius Slay, and he took first-team reps there throughout the spring and early part of camp. The quad injury, though, gave Lawson the chance to get first-team reps and Shead never seemed to regain momentum.

Shead has 154 career tackles and 24 passes defended in his career. He was a full-time starter for the Seahawks in 2015.

CB Chris Jones - Lions

Shead wasn’t the only corner the Lions released, Chris Jones was also let go.

Rookie cornerback Chris Jones has been waived.

Jones had a poor 2017 season for Nebraska, but was a highly touted prospect prior to the season before injury derailed his year. He was signed to the Lions with little fanfare, but has been getting a ton of snaps in the preseason. He’s done well in those snaps, but it wasn’t enough to secure a roster spot at one of the team’s deepest position groups.

WR Breshaud Perriman

The Cowboys love high-draft-pick reclamation projects. Could they try it again with Perriman?

Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick in 2015, managed 43 catches for 576 yards and three touchdowns in 27 games. He never eclipsed 65 yards receiving in any game.

The move comes two months after Baltimore picked up Perriman’s $649,485 roster bonus. Perriman has the size and speed to become a playmaking receiver, but he has repeatedly had trouble with injuries and dropped passes.

This summer, Perriman showed flashes of improvement, leading the Ravens in receiving this preseason with 11 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown. But he lacked the aggressiveness to make contested catches, which surfaced again in the preseason finale.

Bonus names of interest

WR Corey Coleman

G Jonathan Cooper

RB Thomas Rawls

TE Clive Walford

S Quin Blanding

So who ya got BTB? What other names would you go after?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys