The list of players cut has started with the release of DE Martez Wilson and FB JC Copeland. These aren't surprises as Martez Wilson struggled at the point of attack in the run game and didn't live up to his potential rushing the passer. Copeland hasn't seen the field much and whilst Jason Garrett likes to carry a FB, I'm not sure Tyler Clutts makes the final 53 either.
I promised a predicted 53 man roster after the Miami game and here it is.
Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden
The only question here is whether the front office feel they need to carry Dustin Vaughan. The chances of him turning into a multi-year starter are small so I'd take the risk of him clearing waivers.
Running backs (4)
DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams, Joseph Randle
There is no way I can release Ryan Williams. His passion, hard running and cutting ability makes me think he is a better back up option to DeMarco Murray than 2013 5th round pick Joseph Randle. His pass protection has also improved dramatically, as evidenced in the Miami game.
Tight Ends (3)
Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna
No surprises here.
Wide Receivers (5)
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, Devin Street
Jamar Newsome has done enough but will be a casualty because of the numbers required in the front seven. I'd like to see if we can find a trade partner for him. St. Louis would be a good candidate.
Offensive Line (8)
Tyron Smith, Doug Free, Ron Leary, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Uche Nwaneri, John Wetzel
Nwaneri's experience is necessary. The flexibility of Bernadeau and Martin allow the Cowboys to carry just 8. Wetzel beats out Parnell, which saves cap space.
Defensive Line (11)
DeMarcus Lawrence, Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain, Ken Bishop, Henry Melton, Davon Coleman, George Selvie, Tyrone Crawford, +3 others
The line looks awful so the Cowboys will carry more men in hopes that a rotation of fresh rushers will help with pressure. At the moment, I don't think we know 2 or 3 of these men! I'd start Spencer on PUP along with Okoye. Recovery from microfracture surgery is rare so the ‘Boys should be cautious in their approach.
Bruce Carter, Rolando McClain, Justin Durant, Kyle Wilber, Anthony Hitchens + 1 other
Will Smith looked out-of-place against the Dolphins. He will be put on the practice squad if the Cowboys can find someone on the wire.
Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Sterling Moore, Terrance Mitchell, Tyler Patmon
I think everyone will agree that Patmon has played his way onto the roster. This is likely to be at the expense of 2013 4th round pick B.W. Webb.
Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, Jakar Hamilton, Ahmad Dixon
I think Dixon makes it to assist STs and because those hits show the passion he has to play for the team. Matt Johnson I'd still keep around on IR. His salary isn't too big to carry.
Special Teams (3)
Dan Bailey, Chris Jones, L.P. Ladouceur
No surprises here. The only question is whether Chris Jones is displaced. I'm not risking changing Dan Bailey's holder though!
If you're counting, I have one place left. I'd carry the best guy they have irrespective of position. Is that Dustin Vaughan? Jamar Newsome? B.W. Webb? Let me know what you think – @DCBenMcKeith and comments below