In moves to get the roster down the 85, the Cowboys moved second-year CB Reggie Robinson (turf toe) and FB Sewo Olonilua (neck) to the injured reserved list. While both players do have legit injuries, it’s also rather obvious that this is a move by the team to hold onto players that they like, but probably couldn’t find a roster spot for in 2021.
As we look to the next cutdown day, there’s a few other players who could fit a similar bill for the Cowboys, it’s a coincidence that both are apart of the 2021 rookie draft class.
Chauncey Golston is the first name that came to mind when looking at potential IR stash candidates. Golston was drafted in the third-round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but has yet to practice once for the Cowboys this offseason. Golston injured his hamstring in the teams conditioning test the first day they arrived in Oxnard, and has been on the PUP list ever since. With a pretty loaded depth chart on the defensive line, Golston might have made the 53-man roster out of camp, but would also likely be pushed to the bottom of the depth chart. With Golston unable to show anything so far in his first camp with the Cowboys, the team would be smart to stash Golston on PUP/IR, while also keeping around guys like Bradlee Anae and Ron’Dell Carter who have impressed in camp and preseason action. Placing Golston on IR would allow him to fully heal from his hamstring injury, and also allow the team to keep him, and some of their second-year defensive linemen (Anae and Carter) that they would have likely had to release of Golston was healthy.
We discussed this idea among a variety of other topics on the latest episode of Talkin’ The Star on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network (Apple devices right here and Spotify users right here) so you don’t miss any of our episodes!
If stashed on the IR list after final cutdowns, Golston would be sidelined for the first six weeks of the regular season, but can return as early as week seven if and when he’s healthy. Since Golston started training camp on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, he will not count against the 53-man roster if he stays on it as preseason closes, but does currently count against the 85-man roster. While the team seemed to be very excited about Golston and what he had to offer as a versatile defensive linemen who could help the Cowboys run defense, leaving him on PUP seems to be the most logical decision.
The second player who could be used in a IR-stash move is rookie OT Josh Ball. Ball, a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft has been sidelined for multiple weeks now with an ankle sprain he suffered in training camp practice. Like Reggie Robinson and Chauncey Golston, Ball was either 1) not going to make the 53-man roster out of camp or 2) would have made it, but been buried on the depth chart, while also forcing the Cowboys to move on from another young player they seem to like (Steele, Knight). Ball entered camp with a lot of off-the-field baggage, but kept his head down and seemed to have a relatively solid training camp.
On the next cutdown day of August 24th, the team will need to cutdown from 85 to 80, and then 80 to 53 on August 31st. These two players will have another week to get back on the field, before things start to get really interesting. If both players are still dealing with their injuries, keeping them sidelined over the next few weeks, placing Josh Ball on IR and leaving Chauncey Golston on the PUP-list would give the Cowboys control of those players heading into 2022, and would free up some roster spots for players they might have wanted to keep around anyways.