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3 Cowboys on the roster bubble heading into the 2023 draft

The future for these players on the Cowboys roster is far from assured.

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Dallas Cowboys, along with every other NFL team, constantly churn the roster. Another big inflection point for that process is the draft. Depending on who the Cowboys take in that process, some down-roster players will start getting nervous about their spot on the team. Here are three that may be very anxious after the draft.

Kelvin Joseph, cornerback

You could include fellow cornerback Nashon Wright here also, but Wright has shown more in his combined play on defense and special teams than Kelvin Joseph has at this stage in their respective careers. Joseph’s off-the-field concerns must weigh on the front office and the patience the team has with him has been wearing thin. The lowlight of Joseph’s season was an abysmal performance against Jacksonville last year where he was subsequently benched.

Joseph hasn’t shown the instincts needed to be relied on to play corner for extended action and Dallas hasn’t shown any interest in playing Joseph other than a boundary cornerback. The addition of Stephon Gilmore and the emergence of DaRon Bland and Israel Mukuamu have made things significantly more difficult for Joseph’s chances at carving out a role for himself on the team. Entering his third season in Dallas, Joseph is at the crossroads of a career that needs to get off the ground immediately, in Dallas or otherwise.

Simi Fehoko, wide receiver

Contrary to Joseph, Simi Fehoko finds himself working up a sweat leading up to the draft due in part to the team not knowing what they have in the third-year wide receiver. Playing time for Fehoko has been hard to come by. In his first two seasons, Fehoko has only played sparingly in 10 career games, recording three receptions for 24 yards. Last year the team was in desperate need of help at wide receiver and practically begging for any warm body to step up and take control of the position.

Unfortunately, Fehoko was placed on injured reserve in the early part of the season and didn’t see the field for the remainder of the year. It’s even more disappointing because he has enticing physical characteristics. At 6’4”, 220 lbs., Fehoko has excellent straight-line speed for his size, running 4.43. at the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine. Plus, he has demonstrated that he has the versatility to play in the slot. However, his potential likely won’t be enough to keep him in the fold.

The receiving trio of CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and the recently-added Brandin Cooks has secured the top of the depth chart for the Cowboys. Making things even more difficult, the team is doing their due diligence at wide receiver for this year’s draft prospects. The team has met with early-round receiver targets like Quentin Johnson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Any premium draft pick at wide receiver practically closes the book on Fehoko as a fixture on the roster.

Ronald Jones, running back

Notably, Ronald Jones just recently signed with the team and as a veteran, his standing with the club may appear to be secure. Yet, Jones might be on the shakiest of ground of the running backs on the roster as it pertains to the team’s interests in the draft. Tony Pollard, playing on the franchise tag, is locked as the lead runner and Malik Davis is an early favorite to spell Pollard. Davis does have good speed and supporters among the fanbase who are eager to see more. Rounding out the group are Jones and Rico Dowdle.

At the insistence of many, the Cowboys likely won’t be in a position to take a running back in the first round and probably seek to add one later in the draft. You’d have to imagine any runner taken in the later stages will carve out a role for themselves on special teams, which works against Ronald Jones. The former first-round pick might be as anxious as the incoming rookies on draft night, should the team draft a running back.

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