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5 Cowboys who could be released depending on 2023 draft results

Some Dallas veterans may become expendable depending on the next crop of rookies.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There are always winners and losers following every NFL draft. Some veteran players have their job security strengthened and others are pushed even further toward the chopping block. Today we will look at five Dallas Cowboys who could be in trouble if a significant rookie is added to their position.

While most of these guys will likely at least get to compete in training camp, there is potential for some to be cut even before we get to Oxnard. The salary cap would be the biggest reason; Dallas trying to free up more money for other free agents or for new contracts for some of their young stars like WR CeeDee Lamb or CB Trevon Diggs. But you might have a few others who the team is just ready to move on from for other reasons.

DT Neville Gallimore

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Gallimore counts nearly $3 million against the cap and Dallas could get back about $2.7 million of that if he’s released. That’s a decent chunk to go towards some other deals and might make sense if the Cowboys were to add a major talent at defensive tackle.

With Osa Odighizuwa the current starter as the 3-tech DT and Johnathan Hankins re-signed to play the 1-tech, Gallimore is a backup at best next season. His cap hit certainly isn’t bad for that role, but could be better used elsewhere if he falls even further down the depth chart.

This move would only make sense if Dallas drafted a defensive tackle somewhere in the first three rounds. Even then, they might want to see what the kid does in camp before discarding Gallimore. But depending on how much more aggressive the team wants to be in free agency following the draft, Gallimore’s money could be seen as more valuable than the player.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

CB Jourdan Lewis

Another impending free agent in 2024, Lewis’ has a $5.87 million cap hit with about $4.7 million in possible relief. While he is still one of the better cornerbacks on the roster, could a significant rookie addition be his undoing?

After the Stephon Gilmore trade, Lewis is now set to compete with second-year stud DaRon Bland for the slot role. If he winds up as the fourth CB, that cap hit becomes much less palatable.

Recently, we broke down how Dallas could still justify a high draft pick at CB even after adding Gilmore. A Day 1 or Day 2 prospect would almost certainly enter the fray as a top-four corner, pushing either Bland or Lewis even further down the line. At that point, Lewis’ big cap number might be more than the Cowboys are willing to carry.

CBs Kelvin Joseph & Nahshon Wright

The ripple effect for a CB addition could miss Lewis completely and hit one of these third-year players. Despite being Day 2 picks in 2021. Joseph and Wright have yet to show their lasting value. One of them might not make the roster even without another addition, so a new prospect would almost certainly mark the end for somebody.

It’s an interesting scenario as Joseph fell behind Wright on the depth chart last season despite being the second-round pick two years ago. But that had more to do with Joseph’s failings than Wright’s progress; both of them eventually were trumped by Israel Mukuamu in the last few games.

While neither guy would offer much cap relief if released, it could just be about reducing a logjam and moving forward with fresher options. Who the team would favor now between Joseph and Wright is hard to say, but one of them could easily take the fall for a new arrival.

OT Josh Ball

If some combination of Tyron Smith, Terence Steele, and Tyler Smith ends up as your starting tackles and the swing, that doesn’t leave much room for other competition. After two disappointing seasons, Ball might not long be long for this Cowboys world.

Dallas was reportedly higher on Matt Waletzko as a prospect last year, but a shoulder injury hampered him throughout camp and preseason and eventually landed Waletzko on injured reserve. Ball got more opportunities resultingly, but the team eventually had to play Jason Peters due to his poor performance.

Ball’s best hope is that Dallas doesn’t add an offensive lineman of consequence at either tackle or guard. A tackle would almost assuredly squeeze him out, and a guard would lock Tyler Smith in at tackle for a similar effect.

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