With a regular-season roster limit of 53 players and 50 players returning from 2018, basically every new addition to the team will have to beat out a returning player for a roster spot on the final 53 – even if not all of the 50 returning players starting-quality players.
Sure, some of the 90 currently on the roster will be happy to simply make the practice squad, but almost every second player will get his walking papers at some point.
And with the roster the Cowboys have assembled this year, the competition for a spot on the 53-man roster could be a lot tougher than it’s been in recent years.
In 2018, 14 new players made the Cowboys’ opening day roster:
|Draft Pick||Free Agent/Trade||Post June 1 Acquisition||UDFA|
|Leighton Vander Esch||Jamize Olawale (via trade)||Antwaun Woods||Tyree Robinson|
|Connor Williams||Tavon Austin (via trade)||Deonte Thompson|
|Michael Gallup||Joe Thomas|
|Dorance Armstrong||Allen Hurns|
|Dalton Schultz||Cameron Fleming|
|Mike White||Brett Maher|
|Cedric Wilson (IR)||Marcus Martin (IR)|
Of those 14 players, three (so far) were one-and-done in Dallas.
Of the nine draft picks the Cowboys had in 2018, seven made the opening day 53-man roster. WR Cedric Wilson spent the season on IR, and RB Bo Scarbrough didn’t make the team.
The Cowboys initially signed 18 college free agents after last year’s draft, and only safety Tyree Robinson ended up making the roster, albeit briefly: he was waived after Week 2, re-signed to the practice squad, and then signed to the 49ers active roster in December. However, three other players from that UDFA class (OL Jake Campos, RB Jordan Chunn, CB Donovan Olumba) made it to this year’s 90-man offseason roster.
And once the Cowboys had set their initial 90-man roster last year, they remained active. Between mid-May and opening weekend, they signed an additional 21 players, all of whom replaced a player previously on the roster. Only one of those players, Antwaun Woods, remains on the current roster.
With 50 players returning from last year, nine players signed as free agents since the end of the season, eight rookies brought in via the draft, one player (Robert Quinn) brought in via trade, one player (Randy Gregory) potentially coming back from suspension, and more players expected to be signed in the coming months, competition for one of the 53 spots will be intense.
How many new faces do you expect on the Cowboys’ opening-day roster this year?