Like all the other NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys need to trim their roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday, August 29th. With the final preseason game in the books, we now have had an extensive look at the guys fighting for a roster spot on this team. So, how will this final roster look? Let’s run through each position group and try to figure out which players make the cut.
Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Trey Lance
This position group was solidified before Saturday’s preseason game as the investment the team made to acquire Lance locked him in as the team’s QB3. Will Grier went out with a bang and could still land a job, but it won’t be with the Cowboys.
RUNNING BACK (3)
Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn
Malik Davis was once in the fold here, but both Dowdle and Vaughn played well in the preseason and should be enough for this position group. The Cowboys should be able to get Davis onto the practice squad as well as UDFA rookie Hunter Luepke who had a nice preseason finale.
TIGHT END (4)
Jake Ferguson, Luke Schoonmaker, Peyton Hendershot, and Sean McKeon
You have to feel good about the Cowboys duo of Ferguson and Schoonmaker as both bring a balanced skillset to the offense. John Stephens Jr. would’ve been on this list before he got hurt, but now Hendershot and McKeon still have life. One of those guys could end up being an initial cut to do some roster maneuvering, but by Week 1 expect them both to be in the fold.
WIDE RECEIVER (5)
CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert, and KaVontae Turpin
There shouldn’t be much of a surprise here unless you were expecting to also see seventh-round pick Jalen Brooks. That’s still a possibility, but there are just so many other good players where the Cowboys could use a little extra depth that it seems hard to imagine they’d burn a spot for Brooks. A trip to the practice squad seems more practical where he’ll likely join a couple of other wide receivers including Dennis Houston who made the Cowboys final roster last year. Man, how the tables have turned.
OFFENSIVE LINE (10)
Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Zack Martin, Tyler Biadasz, Terence Steele, Asim Richards, Matt Farniok, Matt Waletzko, T.J. Bass, and an outside free agent (Josh Ball makes the roster initially, but then placed on IR)
The starting five is a fine-looking bunch, but the depth can always be a little scary. Rookie fifth-round pick Asim Richards has played well and is the team’s most consistent performer over the three preseason games. Josh Ball has played well at right guard, but he struggled at right tackle on Saturday before getting hurt. He’ll miss a couple of months of action. While Farniok hasn’t looked all that great, he’s still the team’s top backup center option. UDFA rookie T.J. Bass continues to get better and makes this list over incumbent Brock Hoffman.
Injuries to Chuma Edoga, and now Ball, has thrown a wrench into the Cowboys' offensive line depth. Don’t be shocked if the team signs a veteran last second to give them a more reliable presence similar to what they did with Jason Peters last year.
DEFENSIVE END (6)
Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Sam Williams, Dante Fowler, and Isaiah Land
The usual suspects are all locks, but they are joined by UDFA rookie Isaiah Land. He has looked very good in preseason games and gives this team a young player to develop for the future when the older veterans hang it up. Tyrus Wheat looked good too and should be a candidate for the practice squad.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5)
Osa Odighizuwa, Mazi Smith, Johnathan Hankins, Villami Fehoko, and Chauncey Golston
Chauncey Golston appears to be the winner of the Golston vs. Neville Gallimore vs. Quinton Bohanna roster battle. This group is still a little tricky because of how Dan Quinn utilizes his defensive lineman, and it’s unclear what he truly desires. The team has been running a lot of three-defensive tackle looks and Fehoko has been standing up and rushing on the outside. While there remains a little bit of mystery here, these five appear to be the best of this group.
Leighton Vander Esch, Damone Clark, and Devin Harper
An injury to DeMarvion Overshown makes this group super lean but the Parsons flexibility combined with the hybrid safety versatility of Jayron Kearse and Donovan Wilson gives this team some good options. Second-year player Devin Harper is progressing nicely and could end up having a better role than originally expected. The surprise here is third-year player Jabril Cox who just hasn’t been able to take a step forward.
Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, DaRon Bland, Jourdan Lewis, and Eric Scott Jr.
This is where things get really challenging. The main three of Diggs, Gilmore, and Bland are no-brainers. The 2021 Day 2 class of Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright has been a huge disappointment and those experiments may have run their course. Veteran Jourdan Lewis is working himself back from a foot injury and should be able to provide some extra depth in the slot. Sixth-round rookie Eric Scott Jr. has struggled quite a bit, but he’s a development project and those learning moments are expected. His roster chances are good because of the team’s investment. UDFA Josh Butler has impressed at times too and is something to keep an eye out for in the future, but the room is just too crowded right now.
Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Donovan Wilson, Israel Mukuamu, Markquese Bell, and Juanyeh Thomas
The Cowboys have such an incredibly deep safety group and it’s just too hard to leave any of these guys off the roster. With questions at both linebacker and corner, the team can go long here and help balance some of those deficiencies as this group offers a little bit of everything.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Bryan Anger, Brandon Aubrey, and Trent Sieg
This group is set. The front office has expressed overwhelming confidence in kicker Brandon Aubrey, so we’ll see how that one goes. Gunner C.J. Goodwin usually can be found here for his special team contributions, but there just wasn’t enough room this time around.
Here is the complete look at the Cowboys' 53-man roster projection...