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Keep these names in mind when projecting the Cowboys surprise roster cuts/keeps

Who doesn’t like surprises?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will have some tough decisions to make when it comes to constructing their 53-man roster. Every year there are a few surprises with players who make the team and every year they come at the expense of some other players we all thought were locked into a roster spot. This year is no different, so we decided to offer up four players who could sneak onto the roster and four players who might get pushed out in the process.


FB/TE Hunter Luepke

The Cowboys use all types of players to serve the fullback role whether it’s an extra tight end or one of their backup linemen. Having a player with versatile traits is nice, but they could skip that charade altogether if they actually employed a fullback. UDFA Hunter Luepke is a dynamic player who can not only block but offer something both as a runner and pass catcher.

TE/WR John Stephens Jr.

Speaking of a dynamic player, another UDFA is having a nice camp. TCU’s John Stephens Jr. didn’t light up the stats in college, but he’s making the most of his chances right now. He’s been hauling in catch after catch and is showing some deep-field playmaking ability. And the fact that he’s been running a lot with the first team guys is a good indicator that the coaching staff has been real impressed with Stephens thus far. The team loves to use bigger receivers in a TE/WR hybrid role a la Noah Brown, so don’t be surprised if this undrafted rookie sneaks his way onto the roster.

WR Jalen Brooks

This Jalen got lost in the mix as fans focused on second-year receiver Jalen Tolbert and the new shiny toy Jalen Moreno-Cropper. Fans are noticing now as he’s had a good couple of weeks of camp and is showing why the team spent a late-round draft pick on him in April. The wide receiver depth chart is littered with possibilities from new playmakers like Brooks and UDFA David Durden to guys who are fading like Simi Fehoko and Dennis Houston. These next few weeks will be telling in determining whether what Brooks has flashed in camp can translate into quality preseason reps.

OG T.J. Bass

Another position group filled with a lot of names but no clear frontrunner is the offensive line. The team is still trying to figure out which guys will be worth keeping around as they attempt to avoid inferior play should injuries inevitably strike. Oregon UDFA guard Bass might be on the outside looking in right now, but he is on a short list of true guards this team has on the roster. Don’t be surprised if the team lands another UDFA gem similarly to what they got in Terence Steele a few years ago.


To make room for one of these guys, there’s going to be some cuts that we don’t see coming. Players like Neville Gallimore, Kelvin Joseph, and Nahshon Wright are already names that have come up as possible releases. All of these guys are Day 2 draft picks who are now down on the depth chart and could be cut loose to make room for new guys, but they aren’t the only guys hanging on by a thread. Don’t be shocked if some of these other guys don’t make the cut.

DL Chauncey Golston

It’s tough to put Golston’s name on this list because he’s a good player and is only halfway through his rookie deal. Plus, he showed promise late last year so he’s trending in the right direction. What could shake things up is if Neville Gallimore finishes strong whereas Golston faulters a bit. The need to keep Gallimore while also reserving a roster spot for this year’s fourth-round pick Viliami Fehoko (who might not be ready to contribute just yet) could push Golston out. Combine that 3-tech need with the lack of reps Golston would command on the edge due to an abundance of depth, limits his overall value to the team. Is it likely he’d not make the cut? No. Is it possible? Sure, it’s possible.

LB Jabril Cox

Staying with the “didn’t see coming” theme, Cox is another player that fans keep wishing would turn a corner. He’s entering year three now and suddenly there are more players ahead of him on the depth chart. The main two of Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark give the Cowboys a nice starting duo, but they also have third-round rookie DeMarvion Overshown in the mix for LB3 reps. And when you throw in the athletic Devin Harper, Cox’s value could slide even further. The Cowboys go deep at linebacker as they are always in high demand for special teams, so it doesn’t seem likely for Cox to get his pink slip, but it might only take a player like Malik Jefferson or Isaiah Land to step up and play him off the roster.

TE Sean McKeon

This often forgotten about tight end continues to show up when needed as the team still calls his number from time to time. There is nothing exciting about McKeon as he’s limited to an in-line blocker role, but he does that job well. He didn’t make the final roster last year but was called up when needed, and that could again be what happens if the team is intrigued by one of the younger, higher-upside guys.

RB Rico Dowdle

Listed as the team’s RB2, it’s no secret that the coaches like Rico Dowdle. It’s also no secret that he just can’t stay healthy and that could create some pause when it comes to constructing the roster. Ideally, the team would like to keep both Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle, but with a roster spot saved for rookie Deuce Vaughn, they might not be able to go deep at RB. It then becomes a chess game between who’s likely to survive waivers and make it onto the practice squad. Opposing teams might be less willing to sign Dowdle than a player like Davis who has already put up some decent NFL film on tape.

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