Who stays, who goes when the first NFL cuts come?
With two weeks left in preseason, these early cuts are going to be heavily influenced by having enough bodies to facilitate games and practices. While merit will certainly be a factor, the numbers game throughout the roster will probably be a bigger one.
This is especially true given what we saw during Friday night’s preseason game. Down went Neville Gallimore, Sean McKeon, and Ty Nsekhe to varying degrees of injury, perhaps keeping an extra DT, TE, or OT on the roster a little longer than the team might have originally expected.
Keep in mind that reducing the roster size isn’t just through cuts. The Cowboys could place a qualifying player on injured reserve, but doing that now would make that player ineligible to return at any point in 2021. A player has to go through final cuts and make the 53, then go on IR, if you want to bring him back during the season.
As Dak Prescott keeps progressing, playing in dress rehearsal vs. Texans would ease Cowboys’ fears - Calvin Watkins, DMN
Everybody would breathe a little easier if Dak played and it was all good.
A source said an MRI exam showed quarterback Dak Prescott’s right throwing shoulder is progressing and there’s an expectation he could practice this week in a limited fashion. There’s also a goal of possibly utilizing Prescott in Saturday’s third preseason game against Houston. McCarthy has said the third preseason game is normally the dress rehearsal and if Prescott is going to play, this would be the contest. Prescott has thrown passes within the last week which is an encouraging sign for not so much being available for a preseason game but the season opener against Tampa Bay.
Prescott’s availability for Week 1 is all that matters in some ways, yet, having him play in a preseason game, for one or two series, could ease some fears at The Star and with Cowboys Nation.
The other positive sign for the Cowboys is the potential returns of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (ankle) to participate in a limited fashion in practice this week.
Diggs is expected to be the ace in the Cowboys secondary.
The Dallas Cowboys need Trevon Diggs to be a legit CB1 this season
Need I remind Cowboys Nation, Diggs’ rookie season wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. He started the season as one of the very worst starting CBs in the entire NFL. He flashed ball skills and awareness but gave up a ton of yards and graded out in the bottom percentile. Things didn’t look good early.
But for as poorly as he started, he finished aggressively dominant down the stretch. In fact, Chido had a top-5 coverage grade the second half of the season and looked like a seasoned veteran – not a floundering second round rookie.
The Dallas Cowboys are banking on the 2021 version of Trevon Diggs to look more like the late season guy than the early season guy. It’s a fair expectation given his natural progression throughout last year and the way he’s handling himself in training camp this year.
The reason it’s such a gamble is because there really is no Plan B here. It’s Diggs or bust in 2021 and Dallas is 100% banking on him being the top cornerback of the bunch.
Aikman’s expectations are sky-high:
Aikman believes Prescott will be in the MVP conversation – if he stays healthy, of course.
“I expect them to be as explosive as anybody in the game,” Aikman said in a clip posted to Twitter by FOX4’s Mike Doocy. “I know that last year’s defense was not that good, and there’s some concerns there. Until they show it on the field, there’s going to be those questions. But I believe that the players that they have, if health- I hate to even say ‘if they stay healthy;’ that’s true for all teams- but I believe that if the players that they have can play to the ability that we all know that they can play to, I think that they should have plenty of defense to complement an explosive offense and win a lot of games.”
Of course, staying healthy could already be an issue. Prescott has been dealing with some shoulder soreness throughout training camp. However, a recent MRI indicated there was nothing to be alarmed about.
Randy Gregory has simple advice on the issue of mental health: ‘Speak up - Mac Engel, Fort-Worth Star Telegram
Randy Gregory is emerging as an advocate for mental health.
If you spend 10 minutes with him you’d understand why Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Charlotte Jones and everybody with the Cowboys just keeps trying to make this work.
You want to believe this will work, and we should, but Randy Gregory is in a trust-but-verify state.
He is an ideal player to speak on the increasingly visible issue of mental health awareness, provided he remains issue-free.
Provided he remains where he is now when it’s the middle of the season, and the job gets hard.
“Speak up,” he said when I asked him what advice he would give to a young athlete who is going through some things. “That’s probably the most simple answer I can give you from my own experience. I just was never the best at speaking up and asking for help, and probably didn’t want to receive it, if I am being honest.”
Five things we wanted to see from the Cowboys game against the Cardinals - Tom Ryle, Blogging the Boys
Are the Cowboys making progress?
Let’s get a pick for the defense
Yeah, they came up empty again. And it wasn’t like they didn’t have opportunities. Kelvin Joseph gave up a couple of completions that went right past him. In both cases, he was just unable to pick up the ball coming to the receiver. His coverage was tight much of the game. Nahshon Wright and Israel Mukuamu also were around the ball, but were not able to grab one. And Dorance Armstrong came close to catching a ball he batted in the air.
This is a bit of a good news/bad news thing. No, they haven’t made an interception in the first two preseason games. But the coverage generally was better than at many times last year, and the Cardinals only had 157 yards passing. If the defenders are staying close, interceptions are likely to come.
However, so far they haven’t exactly faced the best passers the opponents have on the roster. There’s also the way the Cardinals seemed to go to a college style option running attack once Chris Streveler came in a quarterback, which held down the passing numbers. They still have a couple of games to show that the frequent picks in practices are indications of what they can do. And the defensive backs on the roster like Travon Diggs and Maurice Canady, who have been grabbing so many of those balls in practice, were not on the field for long in this game.
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