clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Projecting the impact of recent Cowboys injuries on roster decisions

Dallas has taken some unfortunate losses lately in preseason. Is their eventual 53-man roster being affected?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys just got the unfortunate news that LB DeMarvion Overshown and TE John Stephens suffered torn ACLs in their preseason loss to Seattle. How could these injuries, plus a couple of others, affect the team’s decisions as it finalizes the 53-man roster for the regular season?

We have to start with Overshown, the third-round pick who was already looking ready to contribute as a rookie. While Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark were still your top two of the off-ball linebackers, Overshown had quickly established that he was worthy of snaps and already leapfrogging Jabril Cox on the depth chart.

Losing Overshown means Jabril Cox should get a chance to reclaim his spot behind Vander Esch and Clark. But given that he’d already lost ground to the rookie, could Cox now be threatened by a veteran free agent? There may not be much left out there at this point, but Anthony Barr is still unsigned and could be a decent fallback at this point. Devin Harper will also try get into the mix.

This could also lead to a prospect like LB Isaiah Land or S Markquese Bell getting a roster spot they might not have had otherwise. Both are standouts who might not have made it to the practice squad, so the Cowboys could use this opportunity to protect one on the 53. It all depends on how comfortable Dallas is with Overshown’s projected share of the rotation going to another current talent.

At tight end, John Stephens had been looking like a threat to snag a spot on the bottom of that depth cart. The converted receiver was showing good stuff as a blocker as well, which probably would’ve given him a probably special teams role in the vein of the departed Noah Brown. Losing Stephens probably secures TE Sean McKeon’s roster spot. If McKeon was going to make it anyway, it might have helped WR Simi Fehoko hang on as a larger receiver with blocking potential.

OT Matt Waletzko, who was taking right tackle reps last night, went out with a shoulder injury. He struggled with this last year, albeit on the other side, but now is in jeopardy of not being a reliable depth option for the Cowboys in his second season. While Waletzko’s roster spot in 2023 was far from assured, he was one of the better candidates in a suspect group. With veteran Chuma Edoga still battling a knee injury and his return unknown, Dallas may not have a swing tackle right now for Week 1.

Granted, if Tyron Smith were to go down, the next move up has always been Tyler Smith sliding left and someone stepping in at guard. But that prospect is also daunting with Josh Ball looking like the current frontrunner for the role. The Cowboys had dubious depth going into camp and these injuries are only highlighting how thin it was.

Dallas might’ve been smarter adding more veteran depth even with Edoga and Waletzko in the mix. But now, attrition may prompt them to get much more aggressive in pursuing any remaining free agents or perhaps securing some assets using late-round draft picks. Apparently, veteran Jason Peters wants another year and that wasn’t a bad move last season.

Football’s a tough business and these injuries are a necessary evil to discuss. We hope all of the players mentioned come back strong, but the season’s still coming and the Cowboys now have some adjustments to make to be ready.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys