The crew here at BTB has you covered on all news surrounding the Cowboys roster cuts.
The Dallas Cowboys must establish their 53-man roster by 4pm ET on Saturday. This we know.
What is unknown between now and then is exactly who is going to be on the roster when it’s all said and done. When you’re going from 90 to 53 players there are a l of cuts that you have to make, an unfortunate reality of the business of football, and we’re tracking every cut that happens here at BTB.
A significant portion of the Cowboys roster can be figured out if you know the team well enough but there are always surprises. Who will they be this year?
2019 Dallas Cowboys cuts
We’ll have a running list of every cut that the Cowboys make right here so make sure to be refreshing throughout the weekend. We’ll also fill in the last time that it’s been updated so that you’re not confused. Onward.
The Cowboys released a long-time veteran at a position of need in their first wave of roster cuts.
The Cowboys also have cut receiver Reggie Davis, linebacker Justin Phillips, safety George Iloka, safety Jameill Showers, offensive tackle Jake Campos, tight end Marcus Lucas, tight end Codey McElroy and kicker Kasey Redfern, per Machota.
The Cowboys signed Iloka in the offseason, hoping he would beat out Jeff Heath. He didn’t, so the Cowboys have moved on.
Iloka, 29, has 79 career starts in seven seasons, although only three came with the Vikings last season.
What mistakes must the Cowboys avoid when cutting down their roster to 53?
Risking young talent to the waiver wire
In limited action in the first preseason game against San Francisco, undrafted free agent linebacker Luke Gifford from Nebraska impressed coaches and Cowboys fans with his instinctive play. He made a nifty interception and 13 yard return in the second quarter and recorded two tackles before leaving the game with a significant ankle sprain.
Fellow rookie defensive end Jalen Jelks recorded a sack in the San Francisco game and a tackle for a loss as well as four tackles in the Houston game including two tackles for a loss before being banged up against the Texans. He will have a tough time cracking the roster with DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Kerry Hyder, Tyrone Crawford, Joe Jackson, and Taco Charlton on the depth chart.
Wide receiver Jon’Vea Johnson and running back Jordan Chunn injured themselves against Tampa Bay. Johnson aggravated his shoulder reaching for the end zone in the second quarter and Chunn injured his ribs against Tampa Bay.
Chances are good other teams have noticed these players preseason performance and it will be a gamble to release them and try to secure them on the practice squad. With a contract top heavy roster looming in Dallas, it is imperative to not let young inexpensive talent walk out the door.
Last year the Cowboys shocked everyone when they released Dan Bailey. Will there be any surprise cuts this year?
Kavon Frazier has been a great addition to the Dallas Cowboys since he joined the team in 2016 as a sixth-round pick. While he’s given the defense some inconsistent play at safety throughout his young career to this point, his greatest addition to the team has been on special teams, an area where Frazier has shined throughout three seasons with America’s Team.
While that may be the case, what has become clear over those three seasons and throughout the 2019 preseason is that the ceiling on Frazier is limited. He’s not going to contribute much on defense at this point and his special teams contributions, while solid, aren’t as game-changing as they once were given the quality depth that Dallas has added to the roster in that regard.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Frazier is likely to find himself on the wrong side of the cut line is the emergence of rookie safety Donovan Wilson. The 2019 sixth-round pick has been a revelation and possibly one of the team’s MVPs throughout training camp and the preseason. He’s not only impressed but essentially locked himself into a spot as the primary backup safety.
Jerry Jones: Taco Charlton will be on the Cowboys’ roster in 2019, ankle is ‘good’ for Week 1 - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
Jerry Jones confirmed on 105.3 The Fan that Taco Charlton will be on the 53-man roster in 2019.
Although unavailable for the preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneersthanks to an ankle injury that ended his dress rehearsal one week prior, the former first-round pick punctuated a solid camp with a gritty -- and stellar -- performance in Week 3 of the preseason against the Houston Texans that raised more than a few eyebrows. He delivered two sacks (three, if one wasn’t negated by a penalty on cornerback Jourdan Lewis), one pass break up, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery, which included one of those forced fumbles coming after a return to the game from a previous injury evaluation.
There was still the obvious question of if Charlton had done enough to avoid being released or traded by the team ahead of final roster cuts, but that has now been answered definitively by owner Jerry Jones. Speaking with 105.3 the Fan on Friday, Jones affirmed Charlton will definitely be on the team’s final roster in 2019.
”Yes,” he said simply, when posed the question. “He’s frankly had a great camp.”
This gives Charlton a lane to finally prove he was worthy of being a first-round pick in 2017, and it’s one that got off to a good start last season before falling off the rails entirely.
What will the Cowboys practice squad look like post-cutdown? David Helman of the mothership has us covered.
It’s likely going to include a draft pick
This isn’t scientific, but it just feels like a really good guess. The Cowboys boast a deep roster, and it was always ambitious to think this year’s draft class was going to account for eight of 53 roster spots. The math just doesn’t make sense.
Trysten Hill, Connor McGovern and Tony Pollard aren’t going anywhere, but after that it’s guesswork.
The Cowboys drafted these guys for a reason, though, and they’ll surely want to continue working with some of them. Recent history proves this trend. Bo Scarbrough, Marquez White, Rico Gathers, Will Smith and Danny Coale all spent time on the practice squad after failing to make the roster as rookies.
If they don’t make the team, both Mike Jackson and Jalen Jelks seem like perfect candidates to join the practice squad.
Cowboys News: Jerry Jones Discounts Ezekiel Elliott’s Importance Amid Holdout - Adam Wells, Bleacher Report
The Ezekiel Elliott drama is as hot as ever as game-week approaches.
Speaking on 105.3 The Fan (h/t The Athletic’s Jon Machota), Jones reiterated a previous point he made about team’s not needing a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl:
These comments come after Jones told reporters Thursday he’s expecting Elliott to miss multiple regular-season games.
”I’m operating as though right now he’s going to miss regular-season games,” he said. ”My entire expectation for what we’re putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having any training camp that he’s going to miss games. I just accept that.”
Jones has continually downplayed Elliott’s importance to the Cowboys during this holdout.
Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen they found that line to be disrespectful: ”I didn’t think it was funny and neither did Zeke—we actually thought it was disrespectful.”
Jerry Jones says he expects Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout to last into the regular season, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight - Tyler Lauletta, Business Insider
Both parties expecting holdout to head into regular season.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has come to accept that his team will likely start the year without star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
”I’m operating as though right now he’s going to miss regular-season games,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ final preseason game on Thursday night, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “My entire expectation for what we’re putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having any training camp that he’s going to miss games. I just accept that.”
Ezekiel Elliott Could Be in Trouble if Tony Pollard Emerges in Big Way for Cowboys - Michael Luciano, 12Up
Most of Ezekiel Elliott’s leverage is hope that the Cowboys offense stalls without him, if that doesn’t happen Elliott’s value could fall.
Given the Cowboys offensive line and the volume of carries running backs have gotten in the last two years, a 1,000 yard season for Pollard can’t be ruled out, should he be the RB1 throughout the year.
Elliott is currently asking for record-breaking money, which could prevent Dallas from signing either Amari Cooper or Dak Prescott. If Pollard stars on the cheap, Zeke could have put himself in a pretty difficult spot.
If Zeke holds out into the season, the first few games are going to be massive for Pollard and the direction of the Cowboys organization.
Would the Cowboys actually consider keeping Rolando McClain after being reinstated?
Despite some initial confusion as to whether McClain is a Cowboy or a free agent, both the league and the NFL Players Association agree that McClain remains under contract with the Cowboys. The first order of business for the Cowboys will be to decide whether to keep McClain, whose contract carries a base salary of $5 million for the upcoming season.
Whatever they do, the Cowboys will need to do it fairly quickly. As of Tuesday, McClain will land on their roster (if he passes a physical), and they’ll have to make a move to keep the roster at 53. While it seems like a longshot that they’d welcome him back with open arms given the suddenness with which he was reinstated (and given the amount of his salary), the bottom line is that the Cowboys will have to decide whether to keep him. If they choose not to, he’ll become a free agent.