Every year, lots of us try to predict the initial 53-man roster for the Dallas Cowboys. As soon as the real one comes out, we quickly move on and pretend that the glaring mistakes never happened. Well, not this time, bucko. I am going to go through my pre-cutdown projection, and grade myself with total objectivity. Or whining and excuse making. Here, by each position group, is how things went.
|L.P. Ladouceur||L.P Ladouceur|
|Greg Zuerlein||Greg Zuellein|
|Chris Jones||Chris Jones|
A perfect score! Of course, it was the easiest group to figure out, but we are taking the victories where we can, because things aren’t going to be so rosy the rest of the way, now, are they?
|Dak Prescott||Dak Prescott|
|Andy Dalton||Andy Dalton|
Dang you, quarterback-loving head coach Mike McCarthy! The thinking was they would try to stash The Nooch on the practice squad. That still could be a possibility in the future if the Cowboys need to open up a spot at some point, but, well, that’s just grasping at straws.
Two out of three ain’t bad. Or so the song goes.
|Ezekiel Elliott||Ezekeil Elliott|
|Tony Pollard||Tony Pollard|
|Rico Dowdle||Rico Dowdle|
The error is obvious if you go back and look at the heading for this group, which included the word “fullback.” That seems a much less used term for McCarthy than predicted. But I am going to take credit for getting Dowdle right. So there.
|Blake Jarwin||Blake Jarwin|
|Dalton Schultz||Dalton Schultz|
|Blake Bell||Blake Bell|
This is really a total miss. I did not see McKeon coming, even with the same hints that tight ends were going to be used to make fullback an unneeded position. There is also the factor that they may need some extra help pass blocking (we’ll get to that in a moment) which might have influenced things.
|Amari Cooper||Amari Cooper|
|Michael Gallup||Michael Gallup|
|CeeDee Lamb||CeeDee Lamb|
|Cedrick Wilson||Cedrick Wilson|
|Noah Brown||Noah Brown|
|Jon'Vea Johnson||Ventell Bryant|
Too much weight put on the discussions about Bryant going on IR. Or just my big man crush on Johnson got in the way. Hopefully he makes it to the PS and lives to try another day.
But I got the (blatantly obvious to even the most casual observer) first five right!
|Tyron Smith||Tyron Smith|
|Connor Williams||Connor Williams|
|Joe Looney||Joe Looney|
|Zack Martin||Zack Martin|
|La'el Collins||La'el Collins|
|Connor McGovern||Connor McGovern|
|Tyler Biadasz||Tyler Biadasz|
|Cameron Erving||Cameron Erving|
|Brandon Knight||Brandon Knight|
Steele was the miss, but the team was doing an awfully good job of denying that Collins was having a real issue. We now know he is going to wind up on IR, and Steele was the choice to fill his spot, at least for now. So it’s all their fault.
That totals 26 on offense, which is the opposite way I’d thought the team would go on allocating assets between O and D. That may not hold very long, of course. There are certainly some things going to happen defensively as well.
|DeMarcus Lawrence||DeMarcus Larwence|
|Everson Griffen||Everson Griffen|
|Aldon Smith||Aldon Smith|
|Tyrone Crawford||Tyrone Crawford|
|Bradlee Anae||Bradlee Anae|
|Dorance Armstrong||Dorance Armstrong|
Nailed it. Not that it was that hard. Some questioned whether Armstrong was going to make the team, with Dallas maybe only carrying five DEs. But McCarthy said months ago he liked to carry six ends and four tackles for the defensive line. Some prognosticators just ignored that. Turned out, he meant it.
|Dontari Poe||Dontari Poe|
|Trysten Hill||Trysten Hill|
|Neville Gallimore||Neville Gallimore|
|Antwaun Woods||Antwaun Woods|
On a hot streak now! Actually, this was easy to figure out, especially once Gerald McCoy was lost to injury. Had he not been hurt, the decision would have likely come down to Hill versus Woods - and given that Hill is the planned starter now, he would probably have won that battle.
|Jaylon Smith||Jaylon Smith|
|Leighton Vander Esch||Leighton Vander Esch|
|Sean Lee||Sean Lee|
|Joe Thomas||Joe Thomas|
|Luke Gifford||Luke Gifford|
Yeah, I was the most wrong here, but there is another thing going on here. Lee is also projected to be going on IR, and reports are that March will be re-signed to the roster to fill in for him. So that one is not really a miss, just not anticipating the manipulations involved.
Bernard, however, was a complete whiff. He was just about a consensus pick to make the roster by everyone, and is the biggest surprise for most. Presumably he is a target for the practice squad, with a chance to wind up on the roster at some point in the season. For now, he’s just one that the team fooled just about all of us on.
|Chidobe Awuzie||Chidobe Awuzie|
|Anthony Brown||Anthony Brown|
|Trevon Diggs||Trevon Diggs|
|Daryl Worley||Daryl Worley|
|C.J. Goodwin||Jourdan Lewis|
I expected Lewis to go on IR, but that does not seem to be the plan. However, reports are that Goodwin will rejoin the team when Lee and Collins go on IR, so once again I just didn’t anticipate those machinations.
|Xavier Woods||Xavier Woods|
|Donovan Wilson||Donovan Wilson|
|Darian Thompson||Darian Thompson|
|Reggie Robinson II||Reggie Robinson II|
The only thing that I may have missed here is whether Robinson is really a corner, but the names are all correct, so call it a win. That comes up to 24 defenders total, but if Goodwin is effectively the replacement for Collins on the roster, it will be evenly balanced.
Overall, I had a total of eight mistakes by my count, with one or two that will kind of correct themselves going forward. The biggest problem was in how the slots would be allocated by position group.
I did anticipate that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix wasn’t making the team, but I really should have seen the Nooch coming.