When you have a talented roster you can find yourself having to make difficult roster decisions. It’s a gift and a curse that the Dallas Cowboys face heading into training camp. Credit to the front office as the team has drafted and acquired what should be one of the league’s most complete rosters, but as a result some players and some decisions are going to be tough to make.
Every year we see camp battles. Guys fighting for their roster lives in the comfortable Oxnard sun. While the weather will be comfortable, the seat these three players are on, most certainly is not.
DB Kelvin Joseph
There really is no other way to describe Kelvin Joseph’s situation than to say that ‘time is running out’. The second-round pick has had a bumpy ride with the organization that has included on and off the field turmoil and needs to show sizable improvement in camp to keep the star on his helmet.
Since Joseph’s arrival in Dallas we have seen other young players ascend and make the most of their chances with far less baggage. That fact coupled with some on the field work that has been underwhelming, has led the team to explore Joseph’s options at another position in the secondary. All reports out of minicamp indicate that he has been seen taking reps at both nickel cornerback and safety at times. Joseph has solely focused on outside cornerback to this point in his career and with an influx of veteran talent and young promising prospects, it looks as if the Cowboys are grasping at straws to see how they may be able to keep him around.
Training camp 2023 truly looks like it may be an ‘all or nothing’ situation for Kelvin Joseph and nobody on the roster has a hotter seat than his at this time.
WR Simi Fehoko
Much like Kelvin Joseph with the defensive backs, Simi Fehoko finds himself in a situation where the Cowboys have added a veteran presence and young intriguing talent to the fold. Fehoko’s issues to this point have been purely on-field and the fact he hasn’t been able to stay healthy nor make an impact means time may be running out.
In two seasons the fifth-round pick has seen action in just five games tallying a much maligned three receptions for 24 yards. With the state of the wide receiver room being a struggle, one would have thought Fehoko may be able to rise to the occasion and snag a consistent role in a room that was starving for talent to set up. That didn’t come to fruition and things do not look to be getting any easier for Fehoko heading in to 2023.
The fourth wide receiver spot is wide open right now but there are quite possibly three or four guys vying for that one spot. If Fehoko doesn’t win that spot, he may very well stick around as a fifth or sixth wide receiver option and be a special teams guy as a result, however there are some young rookies gunning for his job as well. As far as comfort and wiggle room goes, there isn’t much there for Fehoko. Simply put, the Cowboys want Fehoko to step up in year three. There are people within the fanbase and in the front office who believe in Simi Fehoko’s talent, which has shown at times throughout camp and practices, but he needs to show it in game action sooner rather than later.
TE Sean Mckeon
For an undrafted guy who came in with some established talent around him, it’s been quite impressive to see Sean McKeon carve out a role for himself early in his career. As a man who has been TE4 and also lined up as a fullback, and a full-time special teams contributor, no doubt McKeon has made his presence felt on this Cowboys roster.
Fast forward to 2023 where it is his fourth season in the league and some new blood has been added around him. The heat is on for McKeon to take his game to another level in hopes of sticking around. The Cowboys no longer have Dalton Schultz, but added Luke Schoonmaker via the draft and with the young player added and likely locked in for the at least the foreseeable future, McKeon may need to elevate his game offensively and show his value as a pass catcher in 2023 to avoid being a camp casualty.
Furthermore, the Cowboys signed a rookie free agent fullback in Hunter Luepke who looks to be the first true fullback to man the spot in quite some time for the team. If Luepke is able to come in and be what they need at the fullback spot and add similar value on special teams, McKeon may find himself on the outside looking in.