The Dallas Cowboys got a jump on their 53-man roster cuts yesterday as several players have already been released. If you missed out on the all the action, don’t fret as you can follow all of the up-to-minute roster moves by checking in with the BTB roster cut tracker.
On Friday, 15 players were cut, and those players include:
- Nate Hall, LB
- Kasey Redfern, P/K
- Juwann Bushell-Beatty, OT
- Darius Jackson, RB
- Lukayus McNeil, OG
- Jake Campos, OT
- Marcus Lucas, TE
- Jameill Showers, S
- Tyvis Powell, CB
- Reggie Davis, WR
- Justin Phillips, LB
- George Iloka, S
- Codey McElroy, TE
- Treston Decoud, CB
- Drew Scott, LS
There are not a lot of surprises here as most of these names weren’t expected to make the team. Maybe you were hoping UDFA linebacker Justin Phillips might sneak on after putting together a nice string of preseason games, but it wasn’t to be. He still figures to be in the mix for a possible practice squad spot. Or maybe you thought punter/kicker had a shot to take Chris Jones’ job from him. That didn’t happen either. While those guys might’ve been a little iffy, most of the other ones were not. Of course, things are going to change Saturday when some of the moves will surprise us.
With 15 players down, that means the Cowboys have until 4 PM EST today to cut 22 more players in order to get the roster down to 53. It’s going to come down to the wire for some players, including a few guys mixed up in a good position battle. Let’s check out three positions where the battles are hot and heavy, and determine which player will emerge a member of the 2019 Dallas Cowboys.
WIDE RECEIVER - Cedric Wilson or Devin Smith?
The case for Cedric Wilson: It’s really hard to not like what Wilson brings to the offense. After missing all of last season with a torn labrum, he’s back and he’s healthy. Wilson has caught almost everything thrown his way, and just about every one of them went for a first down. He also can be used in the kicking game as a returner.
The case for Devin Smith: Similar to Wilson, there’s not much Smith has done wrong. After battling through knee injuries to start his career, he’s run across some good health of his own. And he looks every bit the part that made him the New York Jets second-round pick in 2016. His draft pedigree combined with that blazing speed gives him a higher ceiling.
VERDICT: The Cowboys keep Noah Brown on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, allowing both Wilson and Smith to make the team for now. But neither should get too comfortable because their roster battle will continue throughout the season as roster space remains tight.
OFFENSIVE LINE - Xavier Su’a-Filo or Adam Redmond?
The case for Xavier Su’a-Filo: Experience matters as the 28-year-old veteran has 64 games under his belt, including eight starts last season for the Cowboys. After filling in for Connor Williams after he got hurt, Su’a-Filo has shown he can be a reliable backup for the team. The fact that he’s been getting first-team reps with Zack Martin out should tell you what the coaching staff thinks of him.
The case for Adam Redmond: The Cowboys claimed Redmond off of waivers at this time last season to help shore up their depth. He’s a solid player, that gives a lot more consistency than you might expect for someone this far down the depth chart. He’s only 26 years old and he’s playing the best football of his career under the tutelage of Marc Colombo and company, so there’s a little bit of intrigue of just how far that growth can go. He also can play center, so that’s a plus.
VERDICT: The recent setback of rookie Connor McGovern might just open up room to keep both these guys to ensure they have proper depth. It’s tough to find viable options in the trenches once the season starts, so hoarding extra OL help might be the way to go.
CORNERBACK - Donovan Olumba or Mike Jackson?
The case for Donovan Olumba: After being stashed on the practice squad last season, Olumbu showed great strides in working his way into an NFL job. He was all over the place in camp, consistently breaking up passes. And his pick-six in the preseason finale certainly helps plead his case. He’s clearly been the better corner of the two this summer.
The case for Mike Jackson: The Miami corner was the Cowboys next draft pick after they chose Tony Pollard and before Joe Jackson and Donovan Wilson were selected. The team obviously values what Jackson has to offer. He’s a big, strong corner who knows how to pester receivers. Considering the investment, you gotta give the guy a chance to show what he’s capable of.
VERDICT: Gotta go with Jackson. While Olumba is farther along in his development, the ceiling is higher for Jackson. With such a strong core group of starters, the team is afforded the luxury of looking at the future. Olumba lacks the necessary play speed, and that’s not something the coaching staff can fix. That could give the edge to the Miami rookie.
Who do you got winning these position battles?