The Dallas Cowboys will have to make a lot of difficult decisions in order to get under the league mandated 53-man roster limit for the upcoming 2023 season. From top to bottom this year’s squad is talented, and as things stand right now, there are very few roster spots up for grabs. But there are some battles that are taking place.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at three veteran players who should be looking over their shoulder throughout training camp and preseason. Each one of these players will be forced to battle it out to earn their spot on the depth chart this year.
QB Cooper Rush
Despite going 4-1 as a starter last season while Dak Prescott was sidelined with a thumb injury, there are no guarantees Cooper Rush will reprise his role as the QB2 in 2023. The Cowboys coaching staff is going to make him earn that job and to do that he will have to beat out Will Grier, who he narrowly edged out last season.
If not for an untimely injury last year, Will Grier may have been Dallas’ backup QB. He’s a little more mobile/athletic and arguably has the stronger arm over Cooper Rush. But, Rush proved himself capable of playing at a high level as a starter, where as Grier has yet to do so. It’ll be really interesting to see how this QB2 position battle plays out.
WR KaVontae Turpin
A late addition to the Cowboys training camp last year ended up going on to be named to the 2022 Pro Bowl in his first year in the NFL. It’s hard to imagine a Pro Bowl player last year not earning a roster spot with the Cowboys in 2023, but due to the depth Dallas currently has at wide receiver that could be exactly the position KaVontae Turpin finds himself in.
Dallas typically only keeps five WRs on the roster and three of those spots are already locked down, leaving only two up for grabs. Turpin’s ability in the return game alone gives him an edge, however, a slight one if the coaching staff doesn’t believe he can’t contribute more offensively. He’ll have to prove he can do that in training camp/preseason.
CB Jourdan Lewis
Out of everyone on the Cowboys roster, Jourdan Lewis is probably the one player who should be looking over his shoulder the most. The emergence of DaRon Bland, trade for Stephon Gilmore, with younger/cheaper options on the roster, and starting off training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) doesn’t bode well for No. 2 this season.
Lewis’ fate could already be sealed. The Cowboys could be waiting for him to get healthy before releasing or trading him. Doing that would save them approximately $4.7 million with only a little over $1.1 million against the cap this year in dead money. While his veteran experience/leadership could prove valuable, it in no way guarantees him a roster spot.