On Tuesday the Dallas Cowboys set their initial 53-man roster, but it is hardly the version of the team that will run out of the tunnel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday night (yes, next Sunday night!).
There are several things that the Cowboys still have to tend to relative to their roster. They still need to (in all likelihood) bring back Cooper Rush, Brett Maher, Jake McQuaide, and C.J. Goodwin. All four of these players (again, in all likelihood) were cut for the purposes of roster manipulation to slide guys like Tyron Smith and James Washington (maybe another?) onto injured reserve.
It would stand to reason that the Cowboy also need to add to their roster somebody who has not been a part of it so far throughout the training camp and preseason process. You can make (we have made them) very strong arguments that they should add both at tackle and along the interior of the offensive line, and it wasn’t all too long ago that wide receiver was a glaring need worth addressing.
The wide receiver position has been somewhat shored up, but it is still the same in a technical sense as the group that alarm sirens were going off around after James Washington’s injury.
The Dallas Cowboys may still add a wide receiver to their roster
For the last few weeks, any time that anyone has suggested that the Cowboys should add to their roster at any spot. they have usually been met with a response involving roster cutdowns.
“There are going to be so many players available after teams cut down to 53!”
“Dallas is just waiting for all of the good players to be released by other teams!”
That time has arrived, and while there are some players who were cut that are worth pursuing outright or putting in a claim for, the Cowboys clearly have work to do, but could that work realistically come at wide receiver with the position seemingly being set and panic existing elsewhere?
On Wednesday, Dan Graziano wrote at ESPN about things that could be happening soon to every team in the NFL that people may not necessarily be expecting. His write-up for Dallas was about them pursuing a wide receiver.
Don’t be surprised if ... they add a wide receiver soon.
What I’m hearing: The Cowboys sound optimistic about an early return from injury for Michael Gallup and about the promise of rookie Jalen Tolbert behind top receiver CeeDee Lamb. But with James Washington out with a broken foot and legit questions around Gallup and Tolbert until we see what they can do on the field, Dallas would do well to poke around.
Players such as Denzel Mims could be available here in the coming days and pique the Cowboys’ interest.
There are currently eight receivers on the Cowboys roster, but the number is really close to five if you look closely.
James Washington is headed to injured reserve, Michael Gallup is on ice until further notice (which seems like it may not be too much longer), and KaVontae Turpin is more of a specialist than receiver although we are all certainly hopeful that he will be involved on offense which is a TBD situation.
This leaves a group of CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Tolbert, Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko, and Dennis Houston for Dak Prescott to challenge the Buccaneers with. Of those five, as has been well-documented, only CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown have registered receptions in an actual NFL game.
It is not difficult to make the case that the Cowboys should bring in receiver help (we have made it several times) at the very least until Michael Gallup fully returns. Someone like Denzel Mims has been thrown out a lot but that feels rather unlikely. The Cowboys are far more prone to bringing in players they know and it is worth considering that Malik Turner was among the roster cuts made by the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday.