clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

3 different Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projections before final cuts

We look at three fresh Cowboys roster projections to get a feel for how they have changed over the course of the offseason and preseason.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Like all other NFL teams at this time of the year, the Cowboys have to be down to a 53-man roster by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.

But unlike previous years, where the cuts have trickled in over a couple days prior to the deadline, the Cowboys this year seem to be intent on announcing the cuts in one fell swoop, possibly as late as Tuesday morning:

Final cuts mark the end of a process that began in earnest with OTAs back in May, a process where players vie for roster spots, and a process where players move up and down the depth chart in line with their performance, with injuries, with Cowboys roster moves, and even with suspensions.

One way to get a feel for the up and down of the offseason roster is to look at how roster projections have changed since May. In late July, we published a summary of four different roster projections prior to camp. Two weeks ago, we followed up with three roster projections after three weeks of camp. And today we cap all of this off with a final look at another three roster projections after three preseason games.

All three projections come from observers who’ve been to training camp in Oxnard, have seen all preseason games, and generally have their ear close to the ground on all things Cowboys: Jon Machota of The Athletic, David Moore of the DMN, and Todd Archer of ESPN.

The three projections are combined in the tables below with the intent to contrast and compare the current projections with the previous two iterations. The table is color-coded accordingly:

GREEN: players that have improved their stock over the last four months

YELLOW: players whose spots don’t appear to be fully secure yet

RED: players that dropped off the list since the start of the offseason

Quarterbacks Prescott Prescott Prescott
Rush Rush Rush
Lance Lance Lance
Pollard Pollard Pollard
Dowdle Dowdle Dowdle
Vaughn Vaughn Vaughn
OUT: Davis & Jones
Lamb Lamb Lamb
Cooks Cooks Cooks
Gallup Gallup Gallup
Tolbert Tolbert Tolbert
Turpin Turpin Turpin
Out: S. Fehoko
Ferguson Ferguson Ferguson
Shoonmaker Shoonmaker Shoonmaker
Hendershot Hendershot Hendershot
Tyr. Smith Tyr. Smith Tyr. Smith
Tyl. Smith Tyl. Smith Tyl. Smith
Biadasz Biadasz Biadasz
Martin Martin Martin
Steele Steele Steele
Waletzko Waletzko Waletzko
Richards Richards Richards
Edoga Edogao Edoga
Bass Bass Bass
Out: Hoffmann, Farniok

On offense, Trey Lance is the obvious addition at quarterback.

At running back, the consensus seems to be that the Cowboys will carry just three guys. Early on, Ronald Jones and Malik Davis we expected to get the spots after Tony Pollard, but that has changed. Rico Dowdle was 0/4 on the projections heading into camp, now he’s a stable 3/3. That’s one guy who won his spot in camp for sure! Deuce Vaughan is also assured a spot here.

At wide receiver, it’s been an up-and-down ride for rookie Jalen Brooks. He was 0/4 at the start of camp, 3/3 three weeks in to camp, but now he dropped to 1/3. Turpin was a little shaky at first but he’s been 3/3 twice now, so he stays. Simi Fehoko is to be the odd man out, he doesn’t make any projection for the second time.

Tight end is probably more about whether the team carries three or four guys. Sean McKeon would be the fourth guy. No room for Hunter Luepke, at least for now.

Interesting dynamics on the O-Line: Edoga was a solid 4/4 before his injury, dropped briefly, but now appears a lock. Waletzko and Richards solidify their spots, but it’s T.J. Bass that is possibly the biggest winner of the preseason. He went 0/7 in the previous four projections, but is now a solid 3/3!

Hoffman and Farniok lost their spots over the last two weeks.

On to the defense:

Lawrence Lawrence Lawrence
Parsons Parsons Parsons
Armstrong Armstrong Armstrong
Williams Williams Williams
Fowler Fowler Fowler
Odighizuwa Odighizuwa Odighizuwa
M. Smith M. Smith M. Smith
Hankins Hankins Hankins
Golston Golston Golston
V. Fehoko V. Fehoko V. Fehoko
Gallimore Gallimore Gallimore
Linebackers Vander Esch Vander Esch Vander Esch
Clark Clark Clark
Harper Harper Harper
Bell Bell Bell
Cornerbacks Diggs Diggs Diggs
Gilmore Gilmore Gilmore
Bland Bland Bland
Lewis** Lewis** Lewis**
Joseph Joseph Joseph
Scott Scott Scott
Safeties Kearse Kearse Kearse
D. Wilson D. Wilson D. Wilson
Hooker Hooker Hooker
Mukuamu Mukuamu Mukuamu
Thomas Thomas Thomas
Specialists Sieg* (LS) Sieg* (LS) Sieg* (LS)
Anger (P) Anger (P) Anger (P)
Aubrey (K) Aubrey (K) Aubrey (K)
CJ Goodwin* CJ Goodwin* CJ Goodwin*

Neville Gallimore may have played himself on to the roster, much to the surprise of many and the chagrin of some. Gallimore was already a long shot (1/4) at the start of camp, was completely out after three weeks of camp (0/3), but may have secured a spot with his play in the preseason games.

At linebacker, Devin Harper moved ahead of Jabril Cox on the depth chart, and Cox may not make the team. Markquese Bell is expected to provide depth at linebacker, which is why he’s listed in this spot.

Eric Scott came into camp at 3/4, was at 2/3 after that, but is now at 3/3. Jourdan Lewis and Kelvin Joseph are both at 3/3, even if Jourdan Lewis (**) might still end up on the PUP. Nahshon Wright’s chances look slim.

At safety, Juanyeh Thomas is anther guy who played himself onto the roster.

If you looked closely at the projections above, you may notice that they all have 55 players on the roster, not the requisite 53. David Moore explains (*):

The Cowboys didn’t set aside a spot on the initial 53 for a long snapper last year before addressing that spot before the opener. Look for that to happen again with Trent Sieg. The same goes for special teams ace C.J. Goodwin, who will be on this roster opening night even though he probably won’t be there Tuesday.

As far as projections go, these three are probably as good as it gets at this point of the season, but if you want more projections to contrast and compare, here are three more from our writers:

Now we wait and see.

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