Another week of the preseason means another unofficial Dallas Cowboys depth chart.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 15, 2023
There are no changes from the first one last week, fwiw. pic.twitter.com/91uIq4znxx
But that doesn’t mean nothing happened over the last week, far from it. The Cowboys played their first preseason game and have continued practices in Oxnard.
Which means the Cowboys coaches were almost certainly busy watching film from Saturday’s game against the Jaguars and reviewing their practice notes from the last week or so. And one of the things they were likely doing in the process is slotting their players into some kind of a depth chart; a depth chart they have been building since the start of OTAs and one that is constantly being reconfigured.
So we’re going to do a similar exercise today and take a look at what the Cowboys’ final 53-man roster could look like based on what we’ve seen so far in training camp and in the first preseason game. To do that, we’re going to look at three separate projections. Two come from guys who’ve been to Oxnard and have observed training camp (Jon Machota of The Athletic and David Helman of Foxsports), one comes courtesy of our good friend John Owning from PFF, who has been studying film from camp like only the guys at PFF do.
The three projections are combined in the tables below. We published a similar summary of roster projections just three weeks ago, and it’s interesting to contrast and compare the current projections with those from three weeks ago. The table is color-coded accordingly:
GREEN: players that have improved their stock
YELLOW: players whose spots don’t appear to be fully secure yet
RED: players that dropped off the list versus three weeks ago
|OUT: Davis & Jones|
|Out: S. Fehoko|
|Tyr. Smith||Tyr. Smith||Tyr. Smith|
|Tyl. Smith||Tyl. Smith||Tyl. Smith|
On offense we see quite a significant amount of movement.
At running back, the consensus seems to be that the Cowboys will carry just three guys, which means Ronald Jones and Malik Davis are out. Rico Dowdle was 0/4 on the projections three weeks ago, now he’s 3/3. Talk about a guy that battled his way onto the roster!
And to the delight of many, Deuce Vaughan looks to be a roster lock - and there are even whispers that he might be in the running as the No. 2 guy.
At wide receiver, rookie Jalen Brooks is the big winner. Like Dowdle, he was 0/4 last time and is now a solid 3/3. Turpin also solidifies his spot, going from 3/4 to 3/3. Simi Fehoko looks to be the odd man out; penciled in on three of four projections three weeks ago, he doesn’t make any projection this time.
Tight end is probably more about whether the team carries three or four guys. McKeon would be the fourth guy.
On the offensive line, Edoga’s injury likely reshuffled the depth positions a bit (he was 4/4 in the last round). Brock Hoffmann had a solid three weeks of camp that have him entering the projections for the first time, but he’ll likely be one of four players (Hoffman, Edoga, Ball, Farniok) vying for the final three spots on the line.
A lot less turbulence on defense:
|M. Smith||M. Smith||M. Smith|
|V. Fehoko||V. Fehoko||V. Fehoko|
|Linebackers||Vander Esch||Vander Esch||Vander Esch|
|D. Wilson||D. Wilson||D. Wilson|
|Specialists||Sieg (LS)||Sieg (LS)||Sieg (LS)|
|Anger (P)||Anger (P)||Anger (P)|
|Aubrey (K)||Aubrey (K)||Aubrey (K)|
|Out: CJ Goodwin|
The defensive line seems pretty much set. Neville Gallimore was already a long shot (1/4) three weeks ago, he’s out completely for now, but the coaches will have the last word on that, and they may view Gallimore differently than the observers polled here.
At linebacker, Devin Harper (3/4 last time) solidifies his position (3/3) and may even end up moving ahead of Jabril Cox in the depth chart according to word on the Oxnard streets.
Eric Scott was an OTA favorite and looked like a roster lock at corner just three weeks ago (3/4), but he’s now down to 2/3. Jourdan Lewis moved up to a consensus 3/3 pick, Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright are not locked in yet.
At safety, Markquese Bell greatly improved his chances, going from 1/4 to 3/3, and Juanyeh Thomas shows up in these projections for the first time. And with so much depth at defensive back, C.J. Goodwin may end up losing his spot as a special teams ace.
So that’s where we stand at this point in the preseason. Two more games and a few more practices could shake up these projections once more, but as far as projections go, these three are probably as good as it gets at this point of the season, and maybe the official depth chart will reflect some of these changes the next time it is published.