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Cowboys churn: Where the team is likely to make more moves

The roster for the first game is not really set. Here are some places changes could be coming.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
His future is still a huge question.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wow. Have you caught your breath yet? The Dallas Cowboys have set the initial 53 man roster and have filled in most of the practice squad, and it was an at times breath-taking ride. Rico Gathers made the team while Dan Bailey didn’t, and those are just the two biggest things that surprised most of us. But things are hardly set for the season opener against the Carolina Panthers. There are probably more moves to come before we have the real lineup for then. Here are some things to watch for.

Who goes on injured reserve

The big one we were all waiting for was Travis Frederick. The team has already decided he will not go on IR at this time. His recovery from Guillian-Barre syndrome seems to be off to a good start, but the question is still how long it will take before he is really ready to come back to football. It is apparently projected to be just a few weeks. That is good news, but of course his health is still the priority.

The team could use IR to “stash” both Noah Brown and Datone Jones for next year. And according to a report by Clarence Hill, that is exactly the plan for Brown. There might be other players that could go this route that we just don’t know about, but those two are the ones that have been mentioned in social media. Any players that go IR will open up more roster spots.

Wide receiver

With Brown headed for IR, the Cowboys plan to bring back a receiver to replace him, and that is Deonte Thompson, also according to Hill’s article linked above. He was cut to give Brown the necessary spot on the roster so the latter could make it to IR. The team probably had an agreement with Thompson that he would not sign elsewhere so he could replace Brown as the sixth wide receiver. In any case, this was a move that was speculated on as soon as the initial 53 man roster came out.

Running back

Another surprise was that the Cowboys only kept Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith, which is extremely light for a team that focuses so much on running the ball. This could be where they use a spot opened up by an IR move, or they could just cut someone else. It was also something of a surprise when they signed Jordan Chunn to the practice squad over Bo Scarbrough. He may be the target there, or they could also promote Darius Jackson from the PS. It just feels unlikely that they would go very deep into the season without adding more here. Editorial note: About the time this was published, Jackson was poached by the Green Bay Packers to be on their 53 man roster, so churn is definitely happening.

Offensive line

There are currently a lot of unknowns at the moment. The team cut Kadeem Edwards to bring in Adam Redmond, which may mean they plan to sign Edwards to the PS after he clears waivers. But the team is probably still looking for more and better depth here. Redmond may not stick if they find someone they like better. And they still might be in the market for a better backup tackle and center, so there is lots of potential for some OL roster churn.

Tight end

When news broke of Rico Gather’s arrest on Saturday morning, everyone assumed that meant he was gone. But he wasn’t. Still, there remains a question about how firm his footing is. And there are also questions about how capable this unit is as a whole. The team could bring in an outside tight end to shore things up, which would seem to be a threat to both Gathers and Dalton Shultz, who did not impress during preseason.

Defensive tackle

The team went surprisingly deep here, even after cutting Brian Price. He may be the other player they want to add to the PS. And if Jones goes on IR, they may also want to bring in another. The team may just cut another name here, perhaps Daniel Ross, if they want to use the slot elsewhere.

Cornerback

The four they kept seem very solid as a group, but given how many times they will have three on the field, they may be looking for a fifth to add for depth. One place an extra slot from somewhere else may be needed.

Safety

Tyree Robinson became the only first-year UDFA to make the roster, and they added Ibraheim Campbell as a claim after seeing him in the game against the Houston Texans. But they still may be using one of them as a place holder. I won’t mention that one guy, though, since nothing seems to have changed in the Pacific Northwest regarding his status.

Quarterback

I left this one for last, because it may not be very likely they would bring someone else in and bump either Cooper Rush or Mike White to try and get them to the PS. Still, there are some names out there the team was once very interested in, including Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook, both of whom the team wanted before settling for Dak Prescott. Just don’t let it come as a complete surprise if something does happen here.

There are the places something could change in the next couple of days. As you may have noticed, it includes everything but defensive end, linebacker, and the specialists. It is a time of flux still. Stay with us here at BTB, and we will let you know anything that happens.

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